Renault aims to "fully match" Red Bull by 2019

The Renault Formula 1 team wants to match customer squads McLaren and Red Bull by 2019, as the French manufacturer builds towards its ultimate ambition of becoming world champion again.

Renault aims to "fully match" Red Bull by 2019
Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team RS17, Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13
Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal and Cyril Abiteboul, Renault Sport F1 Managing Director
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32 and Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 and Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32
Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17, Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32
Listen to this article

Renault improved from ninth to sixth in the F1 constructors' championship in 2017, but finished more than 300 points behind Red Bull, which won three races and scored 13 podiums.

Renault's best results were five top-six finishes.

The Renault chassis improved dramatically through the season, ending it as the fourth quickest, but Red Bull's performance exposed a substantial remaining deficit and McLaren is also expected to leapfrog Renault in 2018 after ditching Honda.

Renault F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul expects his customer teams to be ahead this season, but wants the gap closed during the campaign and obliterated for the next.

"We know we have a substantial deficit to Red Bull in terms of chassis – in terms of aerodynamics and mechanical platform," Abiteboul told Motorsport.com.

"We know Red Bull very well and that's a fantastic benchmark. I think they have one of the best chassis if not the best chassis out there right now – we'll see what they come up with.

"McLaren is a bit more of an unknown for us, because they had a different chassis and a different engine, different drivers, so it's very difficult to compare. It will be an interesting benchmark.

"I think in terms of overall capacities, in the course of this year we should be able to match them.

"Having said that, they are very stable organisations, which are very well structured, very well organised, very well funded.

"We are still a work in progress, we are still growing up and still in the process of building our own team.

"I think it's not before 2019 that we can be in a position to fully match them, even if I would like to see a very small gap between us and them in the process this year."

When asked whether that meant Renault was aiming for a minimum of fifth place in the 2018 championship, Abiteboul replied: "We will confirm our sporting target when we present our car, but clearly it has to be in that direction."

shares
comments
Insight: F1 Wind tunnel technology reaches amazing new levels
Previous article

Insight: F1 Wind tunnel technology reaches amazing new levels

Next article

The real rivalry F1 2018 promises

The real rivalry F1 2018 promises
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Prime

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022