Renault Sport’s Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul feels a ‘little disappointed’ that Renault F1 Team were not able to show off their gains within the engine department at the Australian Grand Prix, despite the team securing a seventh place finish.
Nico Hülkenberg picked up the team’s only points in the opening weekend of the season, securing seventh place after turning round a disappointing qualifying session.
The German’s points were the only by a Renault powered team as Daniel Ricciardo‘s race was over after damaging his front wing by driving on the grass, moments after the race started. Both McLaren F1 Team drivers failed to make it into the points. Lando Norris could only manage twelfth place in his debut, whilst Carlos Sainz Jr. retired due to an MGU-K failure.
Renault were among one of the teams fighting in the midfield in the opening race, but Abiteboul admits that he feels disappointed about their seventh place finish.
“We head to Bahrain with motivation. In seasons gone by, we would have been satisfied with a seventh-place finish at the first race of the season, but this year we were a little disappointed,” said Abiteboul.
“We feel our car is capable of fighting at the top end of the midfield, however, that wasn’t always displayed when it really counted in qualifying and during the race.”
Renault’s opening weekend had setbacks with their qualifying performance with both cars failing to make Qualifying 3. Hülkenberg’s practice running was limited due to multiple issues on the car. The team are set to bring new updates to the car relating to the aerodynamics, in a bid to improve their status within the midfield.
Abiteboul says that the team are determined to showcase their engine gains at Bahrain and hopes for a smoother weekend compare to the last round at Albert Park.
“We are determined to show more in Bahrain. We have to underline the step we’ve made on the engine side, and the second Grand Prix of 2019 is an opportunity to showcase that. We will bring some aero updates, as we will do at every race.
“We also need to target consistency over the course of the entire weekend, delivering a balanced and reliable car in all sessions to allow the drivers to extract respective maximum performance. Equally, we need to target operational excellence in all areas.
“Having both cars inside the points is the target and we want to show the qualities of our team. We have to be hard on ourselves if we’re to keep on our path.”