Cyril Abiteboul insists that Renault are looking to improve their competitiveness during Saturday’s Qualifying sessions, with their current engine modes lacking pace compared to their rivals in Mercedes and Ferrari.
Red Bull Racing in particular have been outspoken about the apparent lack of speed during qualifying, which often leaves them on the back foot when it comes to races, and although Renault boss Abiteboul feels the engine is a competitive entity on race day, something does need to be addressed on the Saturday.
“We are not doing any other steps than trying to do the best we can for having a competitive engine next year, but not just competitive, because we believe that the engine is already competitive,” said Abiteboul on Motorsport.com.
“It is certainly very competitive on a Sunday, but there is clearly a bit missing on Saturday in qualifying. We don’t have that sort of ‘magic’ qualifying mode, but we are working hard on it.
“The performance of the engine will improve very sensitively for next year, not just for qualifying, but also for the race, which makes me believe that the engine will be extremely competitive.”
Despite this, the focus for Renault remains on reliability, with a number of high profile failures this year across their three teams. Abiteboul says they have been recruiting people to the engine department in order to make the improvements and ensure both a reliable and competitive engine going forward.
“The focus has to be reliability,” insisted Abiteboul. “You know, we’ve lost a lot of points this season because of lack of reliability of the whole package, which to me is directly related to the fact that the team is changing very quickly.
“We are growing, we are recruiting lots of people. When you do that, it is typically reliability that is impacted. That will be the first thing to fix for the short term future.”