Renault “not scared of anywhere” in remaining races

2020 F1 season

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Renault’s sporting director Alan Permane says the team are no longer worried about their potential performance at any upcoming circuits after success at the Nurburgring last weekend.

Just six points cover third-placed Racing Point, McLaren in fourth and Renault behind them in the constructors’ championship. Speaking after the Eifel Grand Prix, Permane said he is confident Renault have the pace to beat their rivals.

“It’s nip and tuck, isn’t it?” he said. “But I think we’re at the right end of it, honestly.

“I think we’ve got the qualifying and the race pace on both those guys. But it won’t be easy to maintain it.”

Permane said Renault were “particularly happy about doing well” at the Nurburgring. “The last two tracks that had this sort of downforce level were Barcelona and Hungary, and we didn’t fare very well at either of those.

“So we were a little bit apprehensive coming here. But [we’re] happy that the improvements that we’ve made to the car since we’ve been at those tracks have worked, have carried through into the into this higher downforce level.”

Renault has nothing to fear from the circuits on the remaining calendar, says Permane.

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“I don’t think we’re scared of anywhere, honestly, now,” he said. “I think if you look at since Spa, since this last sequence of races, we scored very well at all of those.”

“Someone said to me before we got here, we were only second to Mercedes in terms of point scoring in these last four or five races,” he added. “So, definitely, the momentum is with us.”

Daniel Ricciardo finished third at the Eifel Grand Prix, giving the team its first podium since returning to F1 as a factory outfit in 2016. Permane pointed out Ricciardo’s new team mate Esteban Ocon is also beginning to match his team mate’s performances.

“It’s a bit of a milestone, the podium. I think more than what we’ve now got is consistency in the car and pace at all circuits.

“If you look at our qualifying, I think Esteban was half a tenth of Daniel. Which, again, is great. He’s really getting to grips with the car now as well. So it does bode well for us.”

The Nurburgring was the first in a series of new or unfamiliar venues F1 will visit between now and the end of the season. “I don’t see anything on those tracks that looks particularly scary,” said Permane.

“Portimao, again, is a high-downforce track, similar levels to here. It looks like Imola will be a little bit lower, which may well suit us even more honestly. I think that’s the reason it suited us here and there’s no reason it won’t suit us again in Imola.”

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2020 F1 season

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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16 comments on “Renault “not scared of anywhere” in remaining races”

  1. Imola also has quite a few corners, and only one decent-length straight.

    1. Compared to Imola, Portimão is a rollercoaster.

  2. I hope they understand what makes the car work and didn’t just luck into a sweet spot so that the new chassis director Pat Fry can build on that for next year.

    1. @balue Ricciardo claimed he found something that works in Silverstone. They had one race go wrong in between (I think Spain), but so far they have indeed been doing a lot better since. Ricciardo mostly, but also with Ocon generally 1 or 2 places behind.

  3. “I think we’ve got the qualifying and the race pace on both those guys. But it won’t be easy to maintain it.”

    I can see why Renault are highly optimistic. Thanks mostly down to their performance but i think they have also realized that Mclaren do not have a trump card in hand aka a track where they would hands down beat Renault on sheer pace. Now the real fight for the third spot in the constructor’s championship is clearly between Racing Point and Renault. While Racing Point have held a certain edge throughout the season so far, unless Ocon does well to qualify higher and finish in the points consistently (barring retirements), Renault will most likely finish behind RP.

    1. @webtel Ocon was unlucky in Mugello and Nürburgring, but he finishes quite consistently 1 or 2 places behind Ricciardo.

  4. Certainly a big step up from last yr and I would imagine Alonso must be chafing at the bit to get back into a F1 car with real potential. I would say at the current projectory and given RBs traditionally slow starts to a season it will be a very interesting 2021…I hope.

    1. Hmmm, so overtaking RedBull?

      1. @jureo No I don’t think so but hopefully give them a scare in the race, at least make them have to fight for the podiums.

        1. @johnrkh @jureo The Alpine-McLaren-Aston Martin battle should be epic. Possibly closer to Red Bull too.

  5. I think they’re completely forgetting the run of poor luck McLaren has had in recent races with only 1 car being able to finish most races. If both McLarens start finishing the races they have the drivers to consistently rack up points where as Renault have one reliable driver and Racing Points driver both seem unable to extract the maximum at most races this year. I personally see Renault staying in 5th, McLaren taking 4th and RP in 3rd at the end.

    1. @slowmo Again the suggestion that Ocon is not reliable. Why? He finishes consistently one or 2 places behind Ricciardo. OK, Ocon had 3 DNF’s, but those weren’t his fault

      Racing point has the fastest car, but the worst drivers of the three teams. They are really all over the place. McLaren has the second fastest car, but the drivers also aren’t really that consistent. Renault has the slowest car of the three but the most consistent drivers and Ricciardo helped that team figure out the car to get a good setup at most tracks.

      1. @f1osaurus I agree with your order of cars, I also agree the RP driver pairing is weakest. I personally think Ocon is 3 tenths slower than Ricciardo at least and that means he is often far back at the start and then doesn’t have the race pace to really drag him back up. On proven pace you’d rate Ricciardo as the best, Ocon however is worse than both Norris and Sainz and possibly Perez.

        So car wise for me its:

        1. Racing Point
        2. McLaren
        3. Renault

        Drivers:

        1. Ricciardo
        2. Saint
        3. Norris
        4. Perez
        5. Icon
        6. Stroll

        I think McLaren have had more mechanical issues and of course the Sainz crazy accident (He gets one free bone head manouver for his performances over the last 18 months for me). That is my thinking for why they’ll end up in the order I said. If Ocon repays your faith in him then Renault may still overhaul McLaren, which may happen anyway if they can’t sort their car issues.

      2. Perez is massively talented and Renault build their own PU which has recently improved. Renault has made an incredible jump forward hence this article. This is fantastic news for Alonso.

        1. Perez is massively talented? Ocon was better though. Put in the wall by Perez a few times more perhaps. That might be considered a skill for a toxic driver like Perez, but in the real world that is not appreciated.

  6. @slowmo Potayto potahto. Ricciardo is miles ahead of all the others. Ocon beat Perez when they were together. Stroll is not that far behind Perez with 2 DNF’s more than Perez. So Stroll and Perez are the worst drivers for me.

    Ocon is somewhere in the mix with Norris and Sainz. The biggest problem with Sainz and Norris is that they are woefully inconsistent. One race they can be great and the next they can be awful.

    Ocon at least keeps brining the points. He’s behind Ricciardo, but not that far behind. With one exception) he always finished at worst 1 or 2 positions behind Ricciardo.

    Renault had just as many DNF’s as McLaren. I don’t see a difference there.

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