Renault plan ‘massive’ development push in bid to regain fourth place

2020 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Renault intends to make a “massive” push on its car development at the beginning of the year as it bids to regain the fourth place in the constructors’ championship it lost in 2019.

Team principal Cyril Abiteboul said last season “was not a great year for us” as they fell from fourth to fifth in the championship behind customers McLaren.

“We are approaching 2020 with a bit of a different mindset,” he said. “We need to set ourselves some realistic and moderate targets, but we need to stick to them and we need to deliver.

“We think that it’s realistic to target fourth in the constructors championship if we stick to the plan, both in terms of our reliability, in terms of performance, development and also in terms of execution at the track.”

Abiteboul hopes to make a strong enough start that the team can then take advantage of the opportunity to switch its focus to the new rules for the 2021 F1 season.

“2020 is obviously a bit of a pivotal year,” he said. “It’s the end of a cycle, the start of a new one.

“We all know that domination in the sport or success in the sport needs to be built, needs to be anticipated, very often also on the occasion of change of cycles. So it’s typically one of these occasions. We need to factor that into our plan.

“The way we are [preparing] is that we want to develop massively at the season start, make sure that we have the right competitiveness available to hit our target and then shift massively as early as we dare to 2021 when we need to finally break that ceiling glass.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2020 F1 season

Browse all 2020 F1 season articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

18 comments on “Renault plan ‘massive’ development push in bid to regain fourth place”

  1. Okay, that reads better than just the ‘will focus on 2021 as early as possible’, having them say that first they will go all out before that – glad to see them acknowledge they need to expend effort to show progress before they might move to next season.

    Of course, this plan is probably not quite unlike at least the non-top three, I certainly expect to hear something not dissimilar from McLaren, though they have the advantage of actually having already shown good progress last year. I really do think the people at enstone are potentially a great team, would be nice to see them, and Ricciardo and Ocon, get something from it, because the negatives comments on yesterdays articles, reasonable though they may be, are quite sad to read.

    1. @bosyber – might I take this opportunity to point out that it is Cyril saying this? :)

      1. No, please don’t @phylyp, that is not helping :)

  2. Low ambition level. Poor Ricciardo.

  3. I wondering if thats why they did not show the car, I did read late last yr that they were going for some big changes to try and catch up. So maybe the car is more revolution than evolution.

  4. He should have stayed at RB

    1. idk. I mean, he would never win a Championship in RB as long as Max is there. you could argue that he probably won’t in Renault either, but he didn’t know that for sure at the time

      1. I mean, I don’t think that’s necessarily true. Max in his current form would be hard to beat and I get that he was peeved that the team didn’t back him in the Baku incident, but I agree with Horner’s quote from Drive To Survive that it feels a lot like he ran from that fight.

        Either way, Renault was never going to be a race winning, or even a podium contending, team in 2019 or 2020, while I feel confident in saying he would’ve won races last year at Red Bull. He could have still left at the end of this season for whichever team has a seat available, but his stock would’ve certainly been higher than it is after a year (maybe two depending on this season) battling in the midfield.

        I’d say at this point if Bottas’ seat at Merc were to come available, there’d be a good chance someone like Carlos Sainz would be preferred over Daniel Ricciardo.

      2. @nickthegreek

        Just like Rosberg was never going to win with Hamilton at Mercedes, right?

        1. not the same thing. Rosberg wasn’t favored by Mercedes the same way Max is at RedBull

        2. That championship was gifted to him.

  5. From what I recall, the line “we need to focus on next years’ car as soon as possible, due to the massive rules change” was something both BMW-Sauber and McLaren have said in at the start of 2008 and 2013 respectively. And in both cases, the following results were severely underwhelming. Given Renault’s decline in performance in 2019, I can’t be really optimistic about their future. I fear that another slip down the WCC order in 2020, could be detrimental to their future in F1.

    1. Agreed. Really itchy for them to succeed mostly due to Riccardo. If they have learnt from last year like McLaren has learnt from its previous years then there is still hope. I will he rooting for them.

  6. I suspect it’s just an English is not his first language issue, but when I read through Cyril’s statements, he always seems to contradict himself with terminology.

    On one hand he says they should have moderate targets, which really is pretty underwhelming for a team so deep in the do do and on the other he says they’ll have a massive push.

    Originally I was excited about this year with the prospect of teams performance converging but not I get the feeling that if they’re not even close after the first couple of races most teams will just give up on 2020 and hope they do better with the 2021 changes.

    If Merc turns up with an absolute beast and runs away with the first few wins, it’s going to be a very long boring year. Even Ferrari and RBR might just go “yeah let them have it” and start working on their 2021 cars.

    1. Hi @keithcollantine – feel free to remove this. Badly worded attempt at saying what Cyril says is not what he actually means. Better to just remove it – apologies.

  7. Alpha Tauri gonna get you😈

  8. So gonna be unemployed, guess father stroll is buying another team.

  9. 11th and 12th on the grid in Melbourne…
    “Ok guys, massive push to get into Q3 in Bahrain, now come on!”
    ….11th and 14th on the grid in Bahrain
    “Ok guys good effort but bring on 2021!!”

Comments are closed.