Renault targets top three in 2018 testing mileage
Renault has set a winter target to become a top-three team in pre-season testing mileage next year, as it bids to make further gains in Formula 1.
Although the Enstone-based outfit made decent progress with the speed of its car this year, it was held back by a run of reliability problems on both the chassis and engine front.
Well aware of the areas that it needs to improve on in 2018 if it is to step up from its sixth placed finish in the constructors' championship, Renault believes that the key to progress is in ensuring it gets as much running as possible done before the season starts.
Renault F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul told Motorsport.com that the French car manufacturer was pushing hard – and that it was clear what is was looking for to deliver on its aims.
"We are ambitious again, as we are every winter," he said. "You have 10 teams who are very sure that they are going to produce a fantastic car, and we are just taking a very methodological approach.
"We need to focus on what matters, on what counted, this year, which is in particular the first goal – to have a very reliable car as soon as the winter tests.
"We want to be right up there in terms of mileage. We have not defined the target next year in terms of the championship, but actually the first target we have set ourselves is to be top three in terms of mileage for the winter tests.
"That is the top way we want to approach it. Because once you have that, you work backwards."
In winter testing last year, Renault was ranked only sixth overall in the amount of mileage it completed. During the two tests it managed 1364km in total. This compared with Mercedes on 2597km and Ferrari on 2179km.
Renault's hopes of a more solid winter have been boosted by a $6.5 million bonus it has got as the result of snatching sixth place in the constructors' championship at the final race.
But Abiteboul thinks the motivation that has come from that result is more important that the cash injection.
"F1 is all about people," he said. "You need resources, but that is not what is going to make a huge difference for next year. But people, mindsets, spirit, and motivation, they are huge.
"When you have more than 1000 people working and they are having to work flat out over the winter in order to build a complete car, new car, new engine, that is so important.
"I believe so much in every single employee and team member, who are now going to have an extra element of motivation that will make so much more difference than a couple of million."
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