FEBRUARY 27, 2019
Renault targets lucky podium in 2019
Renault thinks it has reduced the gap to the top three teams over the winter.
Nick Chester, the French works team's technical boss, told Spanish reporters in Barcelona that he is "satisfied" with the 2019 car.
Renault finished fourth overall last year, and now with Daniel Ricciardo in the car is targeting getting closer to Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.
"So far it seems that we have decreased the gap a bit," Chester said.
"Nico (Hulkenberg) was fastest last week and Daniel would have done the same thing if he had not had some problems. But we know that Ferrari and Mercedes have not taken the fuel out yet.
"The car has a good balance in slow, medium and fast corners. It's an improvement on 2018," he added.
Chester also said the Renault power unit is better this year.
"I cannot say how much, but we are happy and it is a good step," he said.
"I don't know what Honda has done, but they also say that they have made progress."
He said the goal for 2019 is to be fourth, "but closer to first".
"And if we are lucky and we make a podium or we fight for it, perfect," Chester added.
As for the cars above Renault, he said: "Ferrari seems strong and Mercedes think that too, although they are running with a lot of fuel.
"I don't know about Red Bull yet, but Sauber seems to have done a good job, it seems that they are close, Haas too. It will be a good fight," said Chester.
He admitted that Renault is planning some changes to its car prior to Melbourne.
"Maybe there will be a change to the front wing, because with these new aerodynamic rules, any modification can make a big difference."