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Renault eyeing Barcelona ‘reset’

Daniel Herrero

Wednesday 8th May, 2019 - 1:28pm

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Daniel Ricciardo

Renault F1 Team boss Cyril Abiteboul is looking to this weekend’s Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix as “an opportunity for us to reset”.

Each of Renault’s drivers, Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg, have just the one points finish to their names after four grands prix so far in 2019.

Neither has qualified further forward than the fourth row for any race this season, while the R.S.19s have also proven unreliable.

In Azerbaijan, last time out, Ricciardo was in contention for a top 10 finish when he ran long trying to pass Daniil Kvyat before reversing into the Russian and hastening the end of his afternoon.

Speaking ahead of the Barcelona race weekend, Abiteboul admitted that there are multiple areas which Renault needs to tidy up but believes the team can do so.

“The start of the European segment of the 2019 Formula 1 season is an opportunity for us to reset,” he said.

“Overall, it’s been a tough start to the year and the Azerbaijan Grand Prix capped off a run of results that fell short of our expectations.

“We know we are capable of much more and we need to target clean weekends and races to make the most of our potential.

“To do so, we have work to do on all sides of our operation; chassis and engine on and off track, and work with the drivers to allow them to reach their respective capacities.

“We are motivated as ever to strive for more and we aim for a full recovery in competitiveness in Spain.

“We know that the midfield is tight, but this also creates opportunities. We’ve seen that fortunes can change in an instant so we go to Barcelona hungry to get our season campaign going.”

The twin non-points results in Baku saw Renault plummet from a share of fourth in the constructors’ championship to seventh in what is a tightly contested midfield battle.

Hulkenberg and Ricciardo, who has a three-position grid penalty hanging over his head for the incident with Kvyat, are tied on six points in 11th and 13th respectively in the drivers’ standings, split by McLaren’s Carlos Sainz.

Renault will take both aerodynamic and mechanical updates into this weekend, according to Renault’s chassis technical director, Nick Chester.

“As the first European round, Barcelona does offer a good opportunity to bring a number of updates to the car,” he explained.

“We have a few aero parts to add to the front wing and rear of the car. We are also looking at some mechanical tweaks to improve car balance.

“At this stage there is a development race going on between the teams, but we will keep pushing hard to get best from it each weekend.”

Practice in Spain starts on Friday at 1900 AEST.

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