Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul says there isn’t a purpose why his group ought to nonetheless be lagging behind Mercedes and Ferrari by way of engine power subsequent 12 months.
Renault has struggled to match the power output of its rivals for the reason that begin of turbo-hybrid period in 2014 and buyer group Red Bull, which is able to change to Honda power subsequent 12 months, usually criticised the French producer for its lack of power.
Abiteboul believes the hole in efficiency between Renault’s power unit and the class-leading Ferrari and Mercedes engines was over 50bhp in qualifying this 12 months and roughly 25bhp within the race. But the Renault boss says there isn’t a purpose why Renault should not shut the hole over the winter break and hopes his group will begin the 2019 season on an equal footing with essentially the most highly effective engines on the grid.
“We’re missing about 15 to 20 kilowatts of engine power [20-27bhp] in the race, which under certain conditions could be made up for by the Red Bull chassis. But in qualifying we estimate our deficit at 40 kilowatts [53bhp], and that’s significant,” Abiteboul advised Auto Motor und Sport.
“With a buyer engine from Mercedes or Ferrari we’d have certified in seventh place in Abu Dhabi. This exhibits that we’ve got a greater chassis than our opponents [in the midfield], but in addition exhibits we’re not so good as the three prime groups.
“That’s why the principle focus at first is on engine growth. Next 12 months, I do not need to have to say anymore that we lacked an excessive amount of power in qualifying. There’s no purpose why we should not shut the hole to Mercedes and Ferrari with the engine over the winter. With the chassis it’s going to take a bit of longer.”
The Renault manufacturing facility group completed fourth within the constructors’ championship this 12 months, however was 297 factors off Red Bull in third place. Abiteboul will not be anticipating his group to begin difficult the highest three within the subsequent 12 months however does anticipate to see the hole cut back in dimension.
“It’s onerous for me at the moment to set targets for subsequent 12 months,” he added. “In sport, that at all times relies upon a bit on the efficiency of the others. But if the curve factors upwards like ours, you need this development to proceed.
“Maybe we won’t be able to do that in terms of the world championship position, but we want to reduce the gap to the top. Let’s wait and see what happens with Red Bull and Honda. Red Bull never gets tired of telling how good Honda is compared to us. May I say that Toro Rosso is still behind us?”