Renault’s Cyril Abiteboul: “It hasn’t been a normal week of testing”

Renault hope for better weather in test two
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Cyril Abiteboul was pleased with the amount of positive feedback provided by both Nico Hülkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr. during the first pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, despite each of the four days being run in unrepresentative conditions due to extremely cold weather at the track.

The Renault Sport Formula One Team completed two hundred and seventy-three laps across the four days of the test but they, much like the other nine teams on the grid, were left frustrated by the weather conditions, which prohibited so much more track action.

With the limited running, the second and final four-day test next week becomes even more critical, and Abiteboul, Renault’s managing director, says they are targeting a significant higher lap count with Hülkenberg and Sainz.

“This week we’ve seen the first glimpse of the Renault R.S.18’s potential on track, albeit in very cold, wet and unrepresentative conditions,” said Abiteboul.

“We managed the majority of our running on the first morning and then the final afternoon, with a lot of rain, sleet and even snow in-between, so it hasn’t been a normal week of testing for anyone.

“Obviously, it’s very early days in our understanding of the car, but both Nico and Carlos have given positive feedback. Our teams back at Enstone and Viry-Châtillon have worked tremendously hard on this car and their attention to detail has been illustrated by our positive lap tally when conditions allowed.

“Next week we are targeting a significantly higher lap tally.”