Formula 1

Renault Has the ‘Ability, Resources and Resilience’ to Turn Poor Start to 2019 Around – Abiteboul

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Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Cyril Abiteboul believes his Renault F1 Team has the ability and resources to turn around the disappointing start to the 2019 Formula 1 season, which has seen only two top ten finishes in the opening five races, one each for Nico Hülkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo.

Hülkenberg began the season with a seventh place finish in the Australian Grand Prix, while Ricciardo matched that result in the Chinese Grand Prix. However,  the former has subsequently retired from two of the next four Grand Prix while the latter has three retirements in his opening five races with the team since his move across from Red Bull Racing.

Whereas the pace appeared to be there, but not the reliability, in the opening trio of races, the past two rounds in Azerbaijan and Spain have been even more challenging for Renault, with Hülkenberg being eliminated in the opening segment of Qualifying in both.

Abiteboul, the team principal of the Enstone-based team, says the team knows where they are at the present time, but they have everything in their locker to turn their season around and move up from the eighth place in the Constructors’ Championship they currently find themselves in.

“The first five races of the year have been disappointing but as ever we have adapted to address the situation,” said Abiteboul.  “We understand the overall level of our car and the progress we need to make to satisfy our objectives, but at the same time, we appreciate the role circumstances have played in those five races.

“We have the necessary ability, resources and resilience at Enstone and Viry, but also two determined and talented drivers to recover our real competitiveness level.”

Abiteboul feels this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix will be their first opportunity to give Renault a lift, particularly with the happy memories Ricciardo has of the event having taken pole position and the win just twelve months ago in the principality.

“Monaco is a circuit that offers a huge challenge, and it’s one that gives surprises too,” said Abiteboul.  “Daniel enters this Grand Prix as last year’s pole sitter and race winner and we’ll be counting on his and Nico’s experience to give the result we need to lift our campaign.”

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