Red Bull’s return to form should motivate Renault to also again succeed in Formula 1, according to the French firm’s ambassador Alain Prost.
Red Bull secured its first victory in F1 for two and a half years in Spain, and followed that up with pole position in Monaco courtesy of Renault’s upgraded engine. A second straight win was on the cards there before a pitstop error.
By contrast, Renault has so far struggled on its return to F1 as a works outfit primarily due to issues with its chassis, scoring just six points from Kevin Magnussen’s seventh-place finish in Russia.
Four-time F1 champion Prost feels lessons can be learned within Renault from what Red Bull has achieved this year.
“It is a very positive thing in this situation,” said Prost. “We are a constructor team – we have an engine and chassis together – so it can be a positive fight, a positive competition.
“At least we know the engine is working well, it can be on pole, which is very good for the people making the engines. It’s very good for the image, and very good for Red Bull anyway. But it also provides a nice vision and motivation for the future. It’s almost like, ‘This part is working, so we know we can do even better, and then we can present it’.
“There is so much work to do, but we know it’s going to be OK. It’s very positive.”
With 15 grands prix to run in 2016, Prost feels Red Bull could yet take the title fight to Mercedes, although he believes the German manufacturer will prove too strong in the end.
With Red Bull 76 points adrift in the constructors’ championship, and Daniel Ricciardo 40 behind in the drivers’, Prost added: “If you are too far [behind] I would say ‘No,’ even if something happened between Nico [Rosberg] and Lewis [Hamilton], or whatever. But if you are close, then it’s another game, and we will see who applies the pressure.
“With 25 points for a win, and with one or two further incidents like Barcelona then it’s enough to be in the match again, and you never know. I was very impressed in the beginning of the season with the performance of the Red Bull. We see now they have closed and are not far from Mercedes, and if they develop again…
“But I don’t think Mercedes will let the championship go away. They are strong enough, and they can also be strong in management, so it will be difficult.”