The Team Principal of the Renault F1 Team, Cyril Abiteboul, says the are aiming to recapture fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship in 2020, having dropped behind the McLaren F1 Team in 2019.
Abiteboul says it is important to begin the year with impeccable reliability and develop the car significantly during the year to ensure they can fight at the front of the midfield on a regular basis. He also wants a lot of focus to be set towards the big rule changes coming to Formula 1 for 2021.
“Taking back fourth position in the Constructors’ Championship remains the objective over a season that will be more hotly-contested than ever,” commented Abiteboul.
“For the coming season, we must respect the three priorities identified during the off-season: reliability from the get-go; ensure a high level of development very early in the season and have a good conversion rate on track. However, we also need to regain confidence and reinforce team spirit to get the best from everyone, and to maximise our chances each race weekend during this unprecedented long and challenging season.
“2020 is also a pivotal year that marks the end of one cycle and the preparatory phase of another. This year must see us setting the best possible course for the major regulation changes of 2021. The organisational changes made in the second half of 2019 are with this firmly in mind.”
‘Challenging’ 2019 Provided Reminder What It Takes to Succeed in Formula 1
Abiteboul admits 2019 was not the year Renault were hoping for, and it showed to everyone just what kind of commitment and energy it takes to be successful in Formula 1.
The problematic 2019 means Renault go into the new campaign with ‘humility and ambition’, and although they still have long-term ambitions of being World Champions, the short-term objectives are to recover their fourth place.
“2019 was a challenging year, but not without its merits,” said Abiteboul. “It provided a reminder of what it takes to succeed in this sport and the high level of competition.
“More specifically, last season enabled us to take stock of our strengths and weaknesses at the end of our initial construction period and to take appropriate action.
“We approach this new season with humility and ambition. Humility as the challenge is huge for every team, every coming year and we are not the exceptions. When we returned to a changed and increasingly competitive sport in 2016, we expressed our ambitions to be world champions, and we set the bar high for every staff member.
“We need to adhere to this initial plan, without succumbing to the short-term objectives that take us away from our end goal.”
Ocon’s Arrival Brings ‘Fresh Energy’ to Renault
Abiteboul says Esteban Ocon will bring ‘fresh energy’ to Renault in 2020 after the Frenchman was brought in to replace Nico Hülkenberg alongside Daniel Ricciardo.
Ocon comes back into Formula 1 after a year on the side-lines, where he was the reserve driver for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team, and Abiteboul says the Frenchman has the hunger in his eyes as he wants to prove that he belongs in the sport.
“This coming season is revitalised by the arrival of Esteban, who brings with him fresh energy,” said Abiteboul. “Both he and Daniel are both exceptionally motivated.
“Esteban returns to a seat after a year out and wants to show he deserves to race in F1. You can see the hunger in his eyes. Daniel has a year of experience with the team and can see its motivation. We need this kind of push.
“F1 needs everyone at the top of their game and having two drivers spurring everyone on is an immense motivation tool for the entire team and a source of pride for the whole of Groupe Renault.”