20/05/2019

F1 team looking to recover lost ground in Monaco

The Renault F1 Team goes into this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix looking for a turn-around in fortunes after a difficult start to the 2019 season.
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Drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo have been able to achieve just one points finish each in the opening five races.

Hülkenberg was seventh in the season-opening Australian GP while Ricciardo emulated that result in round three in China.

Both had been in points scoring positions in Bahrain but agonisingly retired their cars in the closing laps.

In the most recent race at Barcelona, Spain – the first European event of the year – Ricciardo was 12th and Hülkenberg 13th. 

These are their positions in the outright drivers’ championship, too. In the constructors’ standings, Renault is eighth – ten points adrift of McLaren-Renault in fourth (the position in which it finished in 2018).

After the recent Barcelona race the team was scheduled to stay on at the circuit to conduct two days of testing in an effort to improve performance of its R.S.19 racer.

Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul reflected: “The test comes at a good moment to assess particular areas of the car in depth and look at important development items as we define our short-term and medium-term action plan to recover from a poor season start that does not alter our determination and our long-term objectives.”

And Ricciardo commented: We were certainly quicker than twelfth today and, in the end, it wasn’t a perfect Sunday. The midfield is so close and everything has to be executed to the maximum for a strong result. We’ll regroup and look forward to the next one.”

Despite starting from the pit lane, Hülkenberg was buoyed by the feel of his R.S.19. I felt good and comfortable out there, which is promising heading into Monaco,” he said. 

Monaco, meanwhile, is regarded as one of the world’s most famous motor races and very much the ‘jewel in the crown’ on F1’s calendar. Renault has had success on the Principality’s Monte Carlo street circuit lay-out before, most recently with Ricciardo last year when the French manufacturer’s engine powered his Red Bull to victory.

Other wins have included: with its own team in 2004 (Jarno Trulli) and 2006 (Fernando Alonso); as an engine supplier with Michael Schumacher and Benetton in 1995, Mark Webber and Red Bull in 2010 and 2012, Sebastien Vettel and Red Bull in 2011.

After Monaco (23-26 May), the Renault F1 Team will be back on a plane for the next GP at the iconic Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal Canada (7-9 June) before returning to Europe for one of its home races – the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard near Marseille (21-23 June).