Cyril Abiteboul feels this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix can offer the Renault F1 Team a great opportunity to secure a result that reflects the performance levels of the R.S.19 after a disappointing outcome of the Monaco Grand Prix two weeks ago.
After two lacklustre weekends in Azerbaijan and Spain, Renault was back on the pace around the Circuit de Monaco, with Daniel Ricciardo running fifth in the early laps after an impressive Qualifying performance, only for the Australian to lose out by gambling on an early pit stop when the safety car was deployed after Charles Leclerc left debris on the track.
Others did not take the same gamble and were able to create enough gap between themselves and Ricciardo before making their own stops, meaning the pace that could have given them a competitive top six result meant only a ninth-place finish when the chequered flag fell.
Abiteboul, the Team Principal of the Enstone-based outfit, believes this weekend’s race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve will see Renault targeting a result that would reflect the true level of performance the R.S.19 does have, with points the target for both Ricciardo and team-mate Nico Hülkenberg on Formula 1’s first trip to North America of 2019.
“If we only looked at the result from Sunday, we would not have the full story of our only Monaco weekend,” admitted Abiteboul. “The potential was there to achieve a better result; we just need to look at the fifth place Daniel was holding until the safety car came out after Charles Leclerc and Nico’s incident.
“It was an encouraging weekend, with continued improvement on the chassis, confirmed progress for the power unit, pit stops matching the best and numerous successes for our Renault Sport Academy drivers, the breeding ground for our future generation of drivers, including Anthoine Hubert and Victor Martins who won in Formula 2 and Formula Renault Eurocup respectively, while Guanyu Zhou and Caio Collet were both on the podium.
“We must now target a result in Canada that accurately reflects our performance level.”