‘Vital’ For Renault to ‘Regain the Initiative in the Midfield Battle’ – Bell

by Paul Hensby
Carlos Sainz Jr. - Renault Sport Formula One Team - Silverstone

The Renault Sport Formula One Team should be more competitive across the German Grand Prix weekend than they have been in recent weekends, according to Chief Technical Officer Bob Bell.

Last time out at Silverstone, Nico Hülkenberg secured an excellent sixth place finish despite the high-speed circuit not playing to their strengths, but Bell feels the German and his Spanish team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr. should be a stronger entity at the Hockenheimring due to it not being such a power dependent track.

“It’s vital for us to regain the initiative in the midfield battle,” said Bell.  “We let that slip in Austria but showed our fighting spirit in Silverstone, so it’s important we come out from Hockenheim in good shape.

“The circuit should suit us a little better than the last two rounds.”

Tyres will again be a key part of the weekend in Germany, and Bell says it will be important to find a good compromise with set-up that will allow both drivers to get the best out of the compounds Pirelli are bringing to the circuit, which are the Medium, Soft and Ultrasoft.

“As we’ve seen at most races this year, it will be a story of how we manage the tyres,” said Bell.  “It’s a slightly different choice here with Pirelli’s Medium, Soft and Ultrasoft, skipping the Supersoft tyre.

“Managing the tyres in Hockenheim will be a challenge as there’s a lot of low-speed traction events, and therefore rear tyre thermal management will be an issue. As we find with every race, how we manage the tyres will play a central role in our performance.”

Bell says it is important for Renault to remain focused as they continue to strive to be the best of the rest in the Constructors’ Championship behind the Scuderia Ferrari, Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing teams.

Renault currently hold that position on seventy points, nineteen clear of the Haas F1 Team, with both the Sahara Force India F1 Team and McLaren F1 Team in close proximity to the American outfit.

“The midfield fight is becoming tighter and it’s not a comfortable situation to be in,” said Bell.  “It will ebb and flow throughout the season. There will be some circuits where we’ll be stronger and at some our rivals will be stronger.

“We have to keep our focus and not get distracted by the result of an individual race, looking instead at longer term trends.”

Bell revealed Renault will be bringing a new front wing to Germany, and it is hoped it enables the team to gain some performance across the weekend.

“The main one is a new front wing which we plan to validate on Friday,” he said.  “We’re hoping it’s a step forwards in terms of overall car performance and will help our championship situation.”

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