Formula 1

Renault adamant it is capable of "much more"

Renault F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul remains convinced his team is capable of "much more" as it heads to a Spanish Grand Prix where it hopes it can get its season back on track.

The French car manufacturer had hoped to make a step forward in 2019 and close the gap on the top three teams, after leading the midfield battle last year.

But the opening part of the season has been hit with trouble, as a mixture of bad luck, reliability problems and incidents has left it seventh in the standings.

Abiteboul is convinced that the true potential of his team has not been shown so far and he says sights are set on a 'full recovery' in Barcelona this weekend.

"The start of the European segment of the 2019 Formula 1 season is an opportunity for us to reset," said Abiteboul in a team preview on Tuesday. "Overall, it's been a tough start to the year and the Azerbaijan Grand Prix capped off a run of results that fell short of our expectations.

"We know we are capable of much more and we need to target clean weekends and races to make the most of our potential.

"To do so, we have work to do on all sides of our operation; chassis and engine on and off track, and work with the drivers to allow them to reach their respective capacities. We are motivated as ever to strive for more and we aim for a full recovery in competitiveness in Spain.

"We know that the midfield is tight, but this also creates opportunities. We've seen that fortunes can change in an instant so we go to Barcelona hungry to get our season campaign going."

Renault will be introducing some new updates for the Spanish weekend which will focus around the front wing and rear of the car.

Technical director Nick Chester said: "Most other teams will do the same, but we have a number of reasonable upgrades that are positive. We have a few aero parts to add to the front wing and rear of the car. We are also looking at some mechanical tweaks to improve car balance.

"At this stage there is a development race going on between the teams, but we will keep pushing hard to get best from it each weekend."

Nico Hulkenberg has admitted that the start of the season has been hard for the team, but he is hopeful that its Baku struggles were a one-off.

"Obviously, Baku was not a good weekend for us," said the German. "I gave it my best effort and was driving very hard, but we couldn't seem to make any progression.

"The season is very long and I hope this is just one of those off weekends, which can happen. It's been a difficult start to the season, but I know we're a tight group. We'll put our heads together and go again in Barcelona."


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