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Abiteboul: "2018 will be the final year of Renault's construction"

  • Published on 20 Jan 2018 13:34
  • comments 5
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Renault's managing director Cyril Abiteboul says that the team's three-year construction phase will come to end in 2018. Before the commencement of the 2016 season, Renault bought out the Lotus team and returned to the sport as a works team.

It set out its long-term goal of reaching the front of the grid in the near future, but acknowledged it needed to build towards it. The last two seasons have been years of "progression" for the French squad, and Abiteboul is expecting much of the same in 2018.

"2017 was a year of progression and 2018 has to be the same, another year of progression, another year of construction," he told Crash.net. "By the end of the year we want to say the construction phase is over, it was a three-year phase from 2016 to 2018, and now the next phase will be about attacking the top teams. We need to accept that we can’t be perfect everywhere and things take time but at the same time we have to show we are in the right trajectory."

Renault has won the constructors' championship on two occasions; 2005 and 2006. Now, equipped with Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz, it is aiming to return to the glory days of winning races and competing for titles.

However, its 2018 challenge may be made more difficult as McLaren will be running with Renault power after struggling with Honda units since 2015. But Abiteboul views it as a good test for the team, believing that McLaren will lay down a strong benchmark. 

"It is a great responsibility but also a great opportunity as I anticipate we’ll be compared to McLaren but is it an opportunity to benchmark our car and drivers to McLaren and assess the progress of the organisation. Frankly, working with the best is also an opportunity to work with the best."

Replies (5)

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  • Reasonable. TBH, I like Renault's more careful attitude over McLaren's constant promises.

    • + 0
    • Jan 20 2018 - 14:35
    • Kean

      Posts: 692

      I read a bit more about McLarens efforts to rework their design to accommodate the Renault PU. Seems like more work had to be done fitting the Renault PU than if they'd gotten a Merc deal since the Honda PU and Merc PU share a similar design, of course the article was riddled with the McLaren optimism. But after reading, I got the feeling that their progress with their car last year could be for nothing now that they've made these changes. Being a McLaren fan I hope I'm wrong, but I now have the feeling that they'll be 5th or 6th in the championship at the most, behind Merc, Ferrari, Red Bull and Renault and possibly also Force India.

      • + 0
      • Jan 20 2018 - 20:48
    • Thats to be expected. The Renault engine is supposedly both larger and more different compared to the other units, for better or worse. Im inclined to agree, the only real battle I predict for 2018 will be McLaren vs Williams, while Renault might go on to challenge Force India. I hope we are wrong, but I dont see them doing a better jump. I just dont have enough faith in them to reproduce an as competent chassis as the one they had during 2017, especially with a new and bigger engine.

      • + 0
      • Jan 20 2018 - 22:16
    • Kean

      Posts: 692

      They had to redo the layout of the cooling, rethink weight distribution, re-design the gearbox, fix the rear suspension so it could take the extra weight. And if I remember correctly it effected the wheelbase. So if they manage to build a car on level with Merc, Ferrari or Red Bull it would be one of the most amazing feats of engineering in such a short amount of time this sport has ever heard of. But my fingers are crossed.

      • + 1
      • Jan 20 2018 - 22:24
    • Didnt Renault supply them with the cooling? Taking all of the things you mentioned into consideration, it'd be a miracle if they were to even finish 5th. Yet another reason to look forward to the winter testing.

      • + 0
      • Jan 20 2018 - 23:04

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