Two races to the finish, there is 121:83 in favor of McLaren. But now Renault seems to have understood why in the duel with McLaren it threatens to be subject to Formula One season 2019. Teamboss Cyril Abiteboul explains in a conversation with Motorsport-Total.com: “McLaren has built a better car, a better chassis. This is a fact.”
And this has an impact on the performance on the track, quite blatantly in qualifying, as Abiteboul goes on to say:”McLaren is about half a second faster than we are.”At least that was the case at the US Grand Prix in Austin. Prior to this, the Renault lag varied enormously between a tenth and more than a second. The only constant was: Renault was in the back.
This is also the picture that can be seen from the seasonal statistics of the two teams: Renault started (rounded) in the intersection of starting place eleven, McLaren from starting place ten. The better starting position used McLaren in the race to average three points per bet, but Renault comes on “just” two points.
In the race Renault turns the spike around
” But there are also the limits of the vehicle,”says Abiteboul.”I’m not sure. Our car has some basic characteristics that don’t work very well when you put it to the limit. In the race, where you are more concerned with households, it goes much rounder.”
But then Renault has the handicap of starting in comparison to worse positions, which masks the fact that the workforce in the race train is”closer or even better”than McLaren, As Abiteboul describes it.
Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo confirms this impression of an increase towards the race and thinks: McLaren makes it easier to push his vehicle into the border area.” Let’s put it this way: your vehicle’s service window seems to be a little wider. Retrospective: Hamilton’s first World Cup title win.”
It will take even more time…
“This, in my opinion, is the reason why we do not always manage to get the maximum out in qualifying. I think our deployment window is expanding in the race. That is why we can turn the tables,”says Ricciardo.
However, Renault has only taken six times more points this year in the 19 races than McLaren, so catching up on the Grand Prix distance is difficult. Abiteboul puts this not only on the starting points, but also on “Strategy and Race Events”.
His conclusion: “We know what we need to focus on. And I guess we just have to accept that things take time, whether we like it or not. The formula 1 is hard to crack.”
With McLaren, however, you also have a worthy opponent. McLaren is still a fantastic team and a great name. I’m not ashamed to fight McLaren,”Abiteboul says. Although it is a duel between the work team and the customer team.