It’ll be four years since Renault Sport F1 re-entered Formula 1 and they did so by acquiring a team that had been poached, pillaged and reduced in scope, size and talent. Still, I considered Renault’s return to be a project over time and as they have the resources and pedigree to win in F1, they just needed the time and structure to return to glory.
Sure, maybe the last four years haven’t produced glory yet and it is taking slightly longer than anticipated to be competitive but I still believe they may get there if they can get the engine power and reliability issues solved and bolt that on to a much better chassis.
According to Nick Chester, he team’s chassis technical director, they are making significant progress with the chassis.
“There’s a lot going on with the 2019 car and we’re well advanced in making the first chassis.
“We’ve got the gearbox, which will be tested soon. We’re finishing design work for parts such as the cooling, suspension and the bodywork.
“It’s flat out at this time of the year as we have to get through a lot of drawings to get the car made.
“It’s been busy and we’re making strong progress.”
It’ll be hugely important that they get these things sorted in 2019 for Daniel Ricciardo who is pinning his F1 career on the team’s ability to overcome their deficits. He’s leaving Red Bull and its budding young champion, Max Verstappen, for what he hopes are greener pastures at Renault and if they aren’t, he may have made a serious mistake.
I said at the time of Renault’s hiring Nico Hulkenberg, the team are making the right moves with the right talent to remove driver issues and focus on the car. In Nico they have a very good drivers so they need not worry about that, what they needed to focus on was the car.
With the car sorted, they would now have a stellar driver lineup with Nico and Daniel and this duo should be able to race at the sharp end of the grid and challenge for podiums or wins should the team deliver a car that’s on song. If it isn’t, both team and driver will be gutted.
Hat Tip: Autosport