Renault needs "substantial changes" to cure F1 car's weaknesses

Renault Formula 1 boss Cyril Abiteboul believes the team understands the weaknesses that have caused its fluctuating 2019 form but must make "substantial changes" in order to cure them

Renault needs "substantial changes" to cure F1 car's weaknesses

Renault has scored points at four of the last five races, but it trails customer outfit McLaren by 21 points in the constructors' championship and toiled in last month's Austrian Grand Prix.

It returned to form at Silverstone, however, where Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg experimented with different set-ups early in the weekend - which Abiteboul said helped clarify the areas Renault's RS19 can be improved in.

"It's very clear where we are competitive, it's very clear where we are not competitive," Abiteboul told Autosport.

"We need certain tracks where on balance it's going to be OK, like Silverstone, Montreal or Paul Ricard. Certain tracks it will not be OK.

"That's why we need to come with fixes. It's not just fixes, it's big changes to the car.

"We understand the problems, the problems are visible and clear. But fixing those problems will take a bit of time.

"If we really want to alleviate our problems we need to make substantial changes.

"For the time being we'll be struggling in certain characteristics of corners. We were struggling in Austria, we were completely passengers of that situation."

Abiteboul said the British GP confirmed the car is struggling in medium-speed corners.

"Our car can be extremely decent in a number of conditions, it can be very decent on the straights, it can be very strong in low-speed corners," he added.

"We were almost the most competitive car of all in sector one in qualifying, which says something, on a track like Silverstone.

"We were OK in sector three and Turn 16 [the Club chicane]. So straights, low-speed corners, high-speed corners, all of that is pretty good.

"It's really the medium-speed corners, particularly where they are long and they are lasting, that's where the characteristics and the balance of the car are hurting us.

"There is good news and bad news. The bad news is it's a clear weakness that can cost a lot of lap time at certain tracks, as was the case in Austria.

"The good is that it's one problem well identified, properly understood, it's just the time it will take to bring the solution.

"Clearly the factory in Enstone and the aero group is tasked to find some solutions, both short-term and long-term, because not everything will be possible in the short term, let's be honest."

Abiteboul admitted significant improvements are unlikely until after the summer break, and that much of Renault's focus for the rest of the season will be learning for 2020.

"Changes are coming, but not an awful lot will done before the break," he said.

"I would prefer to have some substantial changes, when that will be possible, and also a long-term plan, including next year, rather than trying to rush something into the next race which is not going to make a difference."

shares
comments
Why McLaren is not missing Alonso

Previous article

Why McLaren is not missing Alonso

Next article

F1 champion Lewis Hamilton being "polarising" is positive - Wolff

F1 champion Lewis Hamilton being "polarising" is positive - Wolff
Load comments
Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces Plus

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Plus

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021