Renault admits it has no excuses for works F1 team's poor 2016 form

Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul has insisted there are no excuses for the French manufacturer's poor start to its return to Formula 1 as a works team

Renault admits it has no excuses for works F1 team's poor 2016 form

It has failed to score a point from the first three grands prix of the season, one of only three teams to do so alongside Sauber and Manor.

Although Renault only completed a takeover of Lotus in December, and has had little time to make its mark since returning to the factory in Enstone, Abiteboul does not feel that is justification for its issues.

Declaring the Chinese Grand Prix to be "a disaster", with Kevin Magnussen 17th and Jolyon Palmer 22nd and last, Abiteboul told Autosport: "We can say that. Let's not be shy, it's not good.

"It was a bad race, a bad weekend. It's absolutely not the sort of performance we want to demonstrate on Sundays.

"Right now we need to focus on the car and there is no excuse to find.

"OK, the best line is because we started late and it's a car that was designed for a Mercedes engine, but that is absolutely no excuse for the lack of progress from that point onwards.

"We cannot be complacent about the fact we are just happy to be here, that we have a lot of excuses because we came late into this. No! No excuse.

"We have no excuse for what we did on the engine, and today we have no excuse for what we're doing on the chassis. So let's look forward."

One area where Abiteboul concedes Renault has struggled is with its understanding of how to get the best out of the Pirelli tyres.

"For us, a lot [of the problems] are in the region of tyres," he added.

"We need to improve our understanding of the tyres. I'm seeing that when we don't get any running on Friday, it's hurting us a lot on Sunday. We saw that in China.

"It didn't start well on Friday which prevented us from having a clear understanding of the tyre, and that's really what caused us lots of trouble there."

The one saving grace for Abiteboul is the performance of the engine, highlighted by customer Red Bull's displays to date with its now TAG Heuer-badged Renault unit.

"When you look at Red Bull it gives me confidence and shows what's possible," said Abiteboul.

"It shows - and that's important for Renault - that when we focus on something you can expect something better. We see that when we focus on something you can improve.

"We've been focusing on the engine, and a lot of hard work has been put into it, and there is much more to come that will benefit the four cars."

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