Cyril Abiteboul says there is cause for optimism this weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya after his Renault Sport Formula One Team secured its best result since they returned to Formula 1 as a works entry in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix two weeks ago.
Although Carlos Sainz Jr.’s run to fifth place was aided by circumstances elsewhere, the fact Renault was in a position to capitalise pleased the Renault Managing Director, and it proves the progress the team has made in 2018, with thirty-five points scored in the opening four races.
“Azerbaijan delivered our best result to date since returning to the sport in 2016,” said Abiteboul. “We appreciate it took special circumstances, but it does not take anything away from the fact we are now in a position to capitalise on any opportunities.
“Our progress is clearly illustrated in the data in a number of ways; for example our gap to pole has halved from last year.”
Abiteboul feels it is now time for Renault to consolidate its position at the front of the midfield battle, starting with this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, and coupled with an upgraded fuel from BP/Castrol.
“The start of the European season now needs to see a consolidation of that performance,” insists Abiteboul. “We will be helped in Spain by a step on the engine side with new fuel and some aero tweaks to reflect the characteristics of the track.
“We hope this to be a move forward, but we also recognise that many other teams will bring upgrade packages too and Barcelona is well known to everyone.
“We need to push for points and that fourth position in the Constructors’ Championship, which is well within our grasp now but I expect it to be a lot tighter from now on in. Our target remains reliability and scoring points at every race if we are to achieve this.
“With this in mind we can look forward to Spain with enthusiasm and lots of hope.”