Renault still targeting Mercedes
Honda F1 website
Honda website


Renault still targeting Mercedes

Renault is still hoping to overhaul Mercedes for fourth place in the constructors' championship and is bullish after the promising performance last time out at Spa.

"It was obviously a great way to come back after the summer break and bodes well for the remaining six races," said Renault's James Allison. "Robert Kubica was quick right from the start of the Belgian weekend and was able to match the pace of the leading cars. To finish on the podium was a great effort and a fitting reward for the whole team."

Allison was delighted by the step forward produced by Renault's F-duct but admits that the team is still evaluating whether to use it at Monza this coming weekend.

"Spa was a big weekend for us because the F-duct is a significant upgrade that we have been working very hard to get right and we knew Spa would be a track where it would bring considerable gains," he explained. "I would say that it was worth more than half a second per lap there. We started looking at F-ducts way back at the start of the year and, although the gain was evident right from the start, it was also clear that it would be a difficult device to get right.

"We also knew that we had a very substantial set of conventional improvements that were much easier to implement with less technical risk, so we chose to prioritise these over the F-duct. However, from as early as the Bahrain Grand Prix we had a small group of aerodynamicists establishing what we would need to do to put the concept on our car. Once we had a concept that we felt had a good chance of working properly straight out of the box, we committed to manufacture.

"Monza is very different from all the other circuits and so we have had to prepare a bespoke package that we will not use anywhere else. Monza has such long straights and so few corners that it requires much smaller wings than any other track. The F-duct is a potential alternative and, like several other teams, we are evaluating whether we can make it work in such a low-downforce environment."

Allison assessed Renault's chase of Mercedes, thus: "We're currently 23 points behind them, so we've got to take four points off them in each of the remaining races. We only managed to take three points out of their lead in Spa, but I'm hopeful that, if we can maintain our current level of competitiveness, we can start finishing ahead of Mercedes with both our cars. If we can achieve that, and race effectively with no reliability issues, we stand a good chance."

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