Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul recognises that the team have had an abject start to the 2019 Formula 1 season, but is confident they can get back on track in the first European race of the campaign in Barcelona, saying they are as motivated as ever.
With an injection of finances and the acquisition of Daniel Ricciardo from Red Bull, Renault had aspirations of perhaps closing the gap to the elite teams of Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull, but it hasn’t happened yet, as they are seventh in the constructor’s championship after four races.
The French outfit finished fourth last season, but both Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg have been let down by numerous technical issues with their cars this year.
Abiteboul, however, thinks Barcelona will provide the perfect opportunity to kickstart their season.
“The start of the European segment of the 2019 Formula 1 season is an opportunity for us to reset,” said the Renault boss.
“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.
Abiteboul reckons the close nature of the midfield battle in 2019 will present a chance for Renault to move up the rankings if they can gain a positive result at the Circuit de Catalunya.
“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.”