Nick Chester has admitted that the gains made by the engine department at Scuderia Ferrari this season has come at a surprise to those at Renault, who feel they’ve been left behind by the Italian marquee’s development rate.
This is particularly hurting the Renault Sport Formula One Team as they battle for fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship against the Ferrari-powered Haas F1 Team, who are just sixteen points behind the French outfit heading into the final nine Grand Prix of 2018.
It is also close in the Drivers’ Championship for seventh place, with Renault’s Nico Hülkenberg seven points clear of Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, while only nine points separate their respective team-mates Carlos Sainz Jr. and Romain Grosjean, who sit eleventh and fourteenth in the standings respectively.
Ferrari made a step forward with their engine ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and introduced another update last time out in Hungary, providing both Haas and the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team another boost in performance, which Chester, the chassis technical director at Renault, admits is a concern as they look to take the ‘best of the rest’ title this season.
“They definitely made a big step Canada-time, and I’d say yeah, we are a bit surprised,” Chester is quoted as saying by RACER. “They’ve got a strong engine anyway, but it’s really quite strong now. The performance is right up there.
“It does give us a concern. We’re obviously in a pretty tight fight, so we’ve brought stuff all the way up to the shutdown. We’re going to carry on bringing some aero developments after the shutdown, and it could be tight all year.
“We’ve got to work pretty hard, and even as we switch over to the 2019 car, anything that we can find in developing that that we can put back on this car, we’ll try and do.”