Renault finished 6th in the championship last year but the start of the 2018 season found both cars in the points and the earmarks of another leap in performance. Back when Renault re-acquired their old team, I said that much of their grey matter had been poached but that if the team could re-build, this is a team that isn’t to be trifled with as they know how to win races and titles…they had two in a row with Fernando Alonso.
As they slowly progressed, I could see the gains and methodical approach and when they hired Nico Hulkenberg, they were definitely moving in the right direction. Now it seems they could score consistent points with the addition of Carlos Sainz and this has left their rivals impressed.
Claire Williams said:
“Renault have definitely done a pretty impressive job – I think they are probably fighting, going to be snapping the heels of the top three,” Williams said in Melbourne.
“That’s a phenomenal turnaround – to turn around a team in this sport takes a huge amount of hard work and effort.
“And they seem to have done a really good job.”
Claire knows what it takes and has seen her share of ups and downs at Williams. I still maintain that Renault could be ultimately fighting toward the front for a podium if they get their power unit sorted but if I had to place a bet on it, I might suggest that it won’t be until the new engine regulations in 2021 come before they make even bigger leaps. I hope I am wrong.
Enstone has some very sharp folks over there and they’ve had some difficult times in the past with employee departures and worse. Now they are re-building and if I’m honest, I wasn’t sure how Cyril Abiteboul at the head of the team but so far, it seems to be working.
Can Renault be best of the rest this year or will it come down to terrific battle with McLaren? Either way, I think we are in for a good season of battles between them.
Hat Tip: Autosport