Renault F1 drivers won't miss Red Bull benchmark after Honda switch

Renault drivers Carlos Sainz Jr and Nico Hulkenberg believe the Formula 1 manufacturer will not miss Red Bull as a benchmark when it switches to Honda power next season

Renault F1 drivers won't miss Red Bull benchmark after Honda switch

Renault has been able to judge its chassis progress since its return as a works team in 2016 against engine customer Red Bull, which has won seven races in that time.

Red Bull's decision to run Honda engines from 2019 means McLaren will be Renault's only customer next year, but Sainz insisted the Enstone team already knows the areas it needs to improve in.

"I think that the team is very conscious of where we are," said the Spaniard when asked by Autosport.

"Thanks to this year and the last few years next to Red Bull, we know perfectly well where this team is lacking the last step or two to become a top team.

"But from here we don't need that figure any more, we know where we are and where things need to improve."

Hulkenberg shared his team-mate's opinion, and insisted the fastest cars on the grid should be Renault's benchmark regardless of which engine they use.

"I agree with that," he said, when asked if Renault had no need for a benchmark customer. "We don't need another team or another car as a benchmark.

"The benchmark is being in the competition anyway, and your lap times will tell you and show you where you are.

"The leading cars are always the benchmark. We know we have work to do and where we want to improve and not having Red Bull anymore is really not a disadvantage or a benefit or whatever.

"It doesn't make a difference."

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