Infotainment Factory: Renault boss forecasts 'big changes' for Ricciardo

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Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Renault boss forecasts 'big changes' for Ricciardo


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Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault team boss has admitted the manufacturer has to make “substantial changes” to its car in order to fix the form fluctuations that has plagued its season.

Despite pre-season optimism that the team would close the gap to the front-running teams, Ricciardo and teammate Nico Hulkenberg languish in 10th and 11th spots in the championship, with Renault having dropped behind a resurgent McLaren in the Constructor’s Championship.

The battle between Renault and McLaren will provide fascinating viewing for the remainder of the season, given Renault supply McLaren with engines.

Renault’s season has seen the team record mixed results, with both cars finishing out of the points in four of the 10 races to date. That’s been offset by a strong performance in Canada, while both cars were again in the top-10 during the British Grand Prix last week.

“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.

Daniel Ricciardo

“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 car is strong on straights and in low-speed corners, such as the first part of the lap at Silverstone, but struggles in medium-speed corners, especially the longer turns, which make up much of the lap at a place like Austria.

And with the summer break looming, there’s no opportunity for a quick fix. Indeed, Abitebout has suggested attention will soon switch towards the 2020 car.

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

Daniel Ricciardo has just 16 points from eight races in 2019.

“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.

“Changes are coming, but not an awful lot will be done before the break.

“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.”

This weekend sees the teams gather for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, with Lewis Hamilton looking to extend his 39-point championship lead.

Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault team boss has admitted the manufacturer has to make “substantial changes” to its car in order to fix the form fluctuations that has plagued its season.

Despite pre-season optimism that the team would close the gap to the front-running teams, Ricciardo and teammate Nico Hulkenberg languish in 10th and 11th spots in the championship, with Renault having dropped behind a resurgent McLaren in the Constructor’s Championship.

The battle between Renault and McLaren will provide fascinating viewing for the remainder of the season, given Renault supply McLaren with engines.

Renault’s season has seen the team record mixed results, with both cars finishing out of the points in four of the 10 races to date. That’s been offset by a strong performance in Canada, while both cars were again in the top-10 during the British Grand Prix last week.

“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.

Daniel Ricciardo

“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 car is strong on straights and in low-speed corners, such as the first part of the lap at Silverstone, but struggles in medium-speed corners, especially the longer turns, which make up much of the lap at a place like Austria.

And with the summer break looming, there’s no opportunity for a quick fix. Indeed, Abitebout has suggested attention will soon switch towards the 2020 car.

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

Daniel Ricciardo has just 16 points from eight races in 2019.

“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.

“Changes are coming, but not an awful lot will be done before the break.

“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.”

This weekend sees the teams gather for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, with Lewis Hamilton looking to extend his 39-point championship lead.

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