Tuesday, 23 April, 2019

The question marks over the new Renault - F1

Renault F1 car launch: French team aim to close gap with top three The question marks over the new Renault - F1
Cassandra Castillo | 12 February, 2019, 19:42

Renault unveiled their latest challenger, the R.S.19 at the team's Enstone base, with the team hoping to build on their impressive fourth place form 2018. Having finished fourth in the constructors' championship last season - improving from ninth in 2016 and sixth the following campaign - Renault Sport Racing president Jerome Stoll says the next target is to challenge the top three teams for podiums this year.

Team boss Cyril Abiteboul said: "We want to fight for more".

Ricciardo won twice for Red Bull a year ago, but Renault are yet to secure a podium finish since they returned to the grid as a standalone constructor in 2016.

"It's the most productive winter we have ever had in terms of engine performance".

Australian Ricciardo ended his lengthy association with Red Bull to make his surprise move to Renault.

"If we chose to get all of you here today it's really because we feel ready", Abiteboul said. "We know them and understand them and had time to put in place a structure", he said.

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But Renault's solid line-up will be sparing no effort to reduce the yellow squad's gap with Formula 1's trio of front-runners, Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.

Renault's chassis technical director Nick Chester says that while resources are now in place to deliver a auto capable of challenging at the front, it would be unrealistic to target wins in 2019.

Retired four times world champion and team special advisor Alain Prost, addressing staff before the launch, said he was impressed by the changes and hoped to see Ricciardo or German teammate Nico Hulkenberg on the podium this year. "We are aiming for zero DNFs (non finishes) related to either the chassis or the engine".

This is going to be a big season for the Renault works team.

"We have worked hard on the ERS [energy recovery system] and worked a lot on the ICE [internal combustion engine]".

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