Renault Sport Formula One Team do not have a blank cheque says their chassis technical director Nick Chester as the team fight for fourth place in the constructors’ championship.
Renault have improved since returning to the sport after they took over the Lotus team and with Nico Hülkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr. at the wheel, lead Haas F1 Team by 19 points in the midfield battle.
Renault have already surpassed their points total from last season and the French manufacture has ambitions of closing the gap to the front three of Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport, Scuderia Ferrari and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing but Chester admits they can’t just throw money at the car.
“I don’t think there’s ever a blank cheque, unfortunately,” conceded Chester. “You have to justify what you want to do, show the value you’re going to get from how you want to expand, and you have to show that you’ve been credible along the journey, which I think we’re doing now.”
Despite this, Renault have expanded with the factory being the main beneficiary and Chester believes the investment in it is clear to see.
“I think we’ve been quite lucky.” admits Chester. “Over the last two to three years since Renault took ownership of the team, we’ve pumped an awful lot of money into capital investment.
“You can see that all around the factory.
“We’ve got a paint facility we didn’t use to have, we’ve got buildings for machining chassis, and machining centres… We’ve got our own 60% wind tunnel.
“It’s a really good tool – it’s another area where we’ve had a lot of investment in the last two years to bring some of the systems up to the latest state… There’s been loads of investments.”
Improvements on the track have been plain to see and Chester is pleased to see the team planning where they want to be in the coming years.
“It’s just that you can only build up at a certain rate, so we’ve now built up a lot thinking about… what we need to do towards 2021.
“We’re showing that we’ve been coming up in the last two years, so a mixture of that progression and having a good plan of where we want to get to will help secure the next step.”