Renault: Winter gains our biggest ever

Renault: Winter gains our biggest ever
By AutoSport

04/01/2019 at 15:06Updated

Renault says the gains it expects from its 2019 Formula 1 car and engine are the biggest it has ever made over a winter.

The manufacturer ended the 2018 season at the front of the midfield, finishing fourth in the constructors' championship, but knows it needs to make a good step forward if it is to start mixing it with F1's big three of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.

Renault's F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul said he does not expect the team's progress to slow, and has confidence in the improvements that are being shown from its factory efforts.

"What I see is an acceleration everywhere," Abiteboul told Autosport.

"The gains that we will be making on the engine are much bigger than we have ever done in a winter - much bigger - and the gains that we are currently doing in the windtunnel are much bigger than we have ever done.

"But, we have to be careful on the windtunnel side, the aero side, as there is a change of regulation [primarily concerning front wings]. You know that when it happens there is a big reset: you lose [downforce] and you quickly catch up.

"So, it is difficult to make a distinction between what is coming from the regulations and what is coming from the effect of the restructure [at Renault].

"But if I look at our capacity to engineer, to develop, design and manufacture, it is an acceleration everywhere."

Abiteboul said the investment and restructuring that has been undertaken since Renault took over the Enstone facility is now finally paying off, which is why substantial improvements are now possible.

"The car we have been operating [in 2018] is more or less a representation of where the team was 18 months ago," he said.

"There will be one or two generations of people who will have passed with the next generation of car that we will see next year, and that is frankly is why I am excited.

"We have a level of resource that is, in my opinion, good for what we need to do.

"There is stability of the organisation, there are new people and new faces that have finally joined us, and who understand the organisation, and are now working efficiently.

"So, now it is positive, even if the challenge is huge."