Renault Sport Formula One Team‘s Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul has said that the team’s resources are now focused in the preparation for the 2019 Formula 1 season, although new aero concepts are still expected to arrive in the second half of the current season.
The team return to action this weekend for the Belgian Grand Prix, as the sport has ended it’s summer break and shutdown for two weeks.
The break was needed after all ten teams with their drivers, mechanics and staff completed five races in six weekends, including the sport’s first ever ‘triple-header’.
With the batteries recharged up for the second half of the season, Cyril Abiteboul says that the break gives time for the team to reflect on their season, where they lie fourth overall in the constructors standing.
“It’s good to get back to track action after a well-needed rest for many during the summer shutdown,” said Abiteboul. “The break provided us with the opportunity to recharge the batteries, reflect on the first part of the season, and prepare for the many challenges ahead of us until Abu Dhabi, in order to defend our current position in the Constructors’ Championship and allow Nico and Carlos to strengthen their places in the standings.”
Renault look to hold on to fourth place in the championship with the introduction of upgrades for the second half of the season, with a new floor set to be introduced this weekend.
But Abiteboul says that most of their resources will be focused on for the 2019 season, where Daniel Ricciardo will join from Aston Martin Red Bull Racing next year.
“Most of our resources are now focused in preparing for 2019, which is another important step in the team’s progress,” Abiteboul confirmed. “Before that, we have to keep bringing developments to this year’s package to find gains wherever possible.
“We are pushing on with aero developments, and will bring some concepts at upcoming races onto the R.S.18 that are ultimately destined for next year’s car.
“We’ve been offensive and decisive in the driver market and now we have to do the same on both chassis and engine development.”
The following weekend at Spa will see the sport head to Monza the following week for the Italian Grand Prix. Abiteboul believes that both Nico Hülkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr. are ready to sees any opportunities and take on any challenges that might occur during those two weekends.
“Spa-Francorchamps is a challenging circuit, as is Monza where we’ll heading right after, meaning we’ll have a realistic approach given our competitiveness on these types of tracks.
“But we must be ready to seize any opportunity which might arise from the many unforeseen challenges we have seen in the past in the history of this legendary Grand Prix.”