Hulkenberg seeing "good signs" from Renault for 2018
Nico Hulkenberg is upbeat about Renault's prospects for the 2018 F1 season, saying that there are "good signs" from the Enstone development programme.
Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul has already said that he expects a jump in power unit performance, in part from new technology, next year.
Hulkenberg is confident that the chassis side will take a step forward too, although he acknowledged that much work needs to be done.
"The '18 development and car has already been on the road for some time," he said. "So, it's obviously quite advanced. There's some good signs there. The gap to the front is big, so we need a lot of performance.
"It's always relative, what you target, but we target that next year we obviously want to be well inside the top 10 all the time – not even top 10, probably top eight, permanently. So we have to make a big step to fulfil the expectations."
Hulkenberg has scored points in four of the six past races, missing out only through gearbox failure in Monaco.
He reckons the team can target points for the rest of this season.
"I think that's what we aim at anyways. It is tough, it all needs to come together for us, we need to do a really good job, sometimes we need a bit of luck and help as well – people to drop out. That's what we need to focus on.
"But I think the team is moving in the right direction. There's a lot of good stuff in the pipeline and coming in in a later point in the season. All the signs are good and encouraging. It's just keep your head down and work hard."
However, he acknowledged that Red Bull – a team that uses the same engine and thus provides a good reference – has much better progress with its chassis.
"Obviously Red Bull are one of the top teams. Their rate of development has been quite impressive from the start of the season, to now I think they made big steps forward. We did too, but obviously not at the same magnitude. For sure we're not on that level yet.
"It's little things, they're not transforming the car or putting 20 points of downforce on. You couldn't expect that this would transform the car to something else. I think Silverstone is the next big thing that we get. It's OK, it could be better."
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