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Hulkenberg: Renault has made good engine progress

  • Published on 26 Feb 2019 14:17
  • comments 4
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Nico Hulkenberg is confident that Renault has made some strong progress in its engine department over the winter break.

The French manufacturer has been lacking in recent years compared to Mercedes and Ferrari, and is starting to feel pressure from Honda. After winning four consecutive world championships with Red Bull from 2010 to 2013, Renault has not been able to produce a championship contending engine since 2014.

Last year, its relationship with Red Bull deteriorated to the point of divorce, but Hulkenberg has affirmed that Renault has made some strong progress over the last three months.

"I can say that we've made good progress," the German said in Barcelona. " But the comparison to last year not very fair. The new rear wings are much more draggy which effects the power and accelerating feeling, so it's not entirely one-to-one.

"But even with more drag on the car, I can feel that there is more power so I think we've made good progress in that area. I think we will only really know when we go to qualifying and the race."

Hulkenberg added that there will be no major upgrades to the car throughout the second week of testing: "We're expecting some bits and bobs of new parts later in the week, but you'll still recognise the car."

Hulkenberg was also quizzed on the new tyres for the upcoming season, as Pirelli has introduced a new range. The former Williams and Force India driver says that there are no major surprises when it comes to the 2019 rubber.

"I think the gap between the different tyres is as expected, more or less, and also when you longer stints and take the tyres to the end of their lives, you find the C2, C3 lasts better and the softer compounds degrade faster. No rocket science there, it seems pretty straightforward and goes in line with expectations.

Replies (4)

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  • Ramshoek00

    Posts: 55

    Good engine gains. Compared to the B-Spec Renault and McLaren used in 2018 or compared to the C-Spec as used by Red Bull?

    • + 0
    • Feb 26 2019 - 14:53
    • Probably compared to the B2-spec, the one Renault drove, with an upgrade they built so that Red Bull and McLaren couldn't fit them. That spec is the one the Hulk have experience with. Ric have experience with the other spec, mind, so Im sure he could chime in with his view.

      My thorns aside, Im sure they've made decent gains. The issue is: are they closing in on Merc' and Ferrari, and have they rewidened the gap to Honda? If they haven't, they've lost this season on the engine side, because Renault, like Ferrari, lack stamina when it comes to pushing out upgrades past the midseason point.

      • + 0
      • Feb 26 2019 - 17:40
    • I know it's not a popular view, but I wouldn't mind seeing Red Bull drop back in the field and some of the mid-field teams like Renault or Alfa, or HAAS or even Racing Point vying for 3rd place, or even fighting for wins.

      • + 0
      • Feb 26 2019 - 18:02
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,168

      Wouldn't want to be driving an Renault PU at the moment. Looks like they not gained on merc and lost out on Honda. I would love for STR to be beating McLaren with an Honda PU.

      • + 1
      • Feb 27 2019 - 04:46

AT Grand Prix of Austria

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    11:00 - 12:30

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    12:00 - 13:00

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    15:10 - 17:10

  • Free practice 2

    15:00 - 16:30

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AT Grand Prix of Austria

Local time 

  • Fridayweather-image

  • Free practice 1

    11:00 - 12:30

    Free practice 2

    15:00 - 16:30

  • Saturdayweather-image

  • Free practice 3

    12:00 - 13:00

    Qualifying

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  • Sunday weather-image

  • Race

    15:10 - 17:10

    Fastest lap

    15:10 - 17:10

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