Renault says it has extra motivation as it aims to keep its improving form going at the next Grand Prix in Malaysia.
Jolyon Palmer scoredhis first points of the season for the team last weekend in Singapore. That helped the team move up to seventh in the constructors’ championship. They now have their eyes set on overhauling Toro Rosso and Williams.
“We have extra incentive to continue to push hard to ensure both cars are in the points in Malaysia” said Renault Sport Racing managing director, Cyril Abiteboul.
“A positive we can take from Singapore is that we have moved up a position in the Constructors’ Championship,” he said. “[That] means a step closer to our end of season goal of fifth place overall.
“We fully expect to have both cars in the top ten [in Malaysia],” he predicted. “We have shown our capability on a number of occasions to be the best team behind the top three.
“Reliability remains our main focus,” he added. “Maximum effort and flawless execution is required by all in the remaining six races to achieve that target.”
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That flawless execution faltered in Singapore when Nico Hulkenberg was forced to retire with an oil leak on his R.S.17, with ten laps remaining.
“We are obviously disappointed that we had to retire Nico’s car,” admitted Abiteboul. “[The team] will address the issues we faced.”
“We will introduce a new engine on Nico’s car [in Malaysia], his fourth engine of the season.” Abiteboul continued. “And we continue to develop the chassis side.”
Technical director Nick Chester added a little further detail about the upgrades the team would be rolling out next week.
“A few things for Malaysia are on the way including some tighter rear bodywork which is the main development,” he said.
“This will combine with some set-up progress we’ve been making, in particular over the past few races.”
Chester said that he expected Renault’s package to be well suited to the challenges of Sepang International Circuit.
“We ought to go quite well in Malaysia with the mixture of low, medium and high speed corners,” he said. “We should be the fourth quickest car again.
“The wet running we had in Singapore is useful information for us, given Malaysia is known to throw up a few surprises with its changeable climate.
“Overall the car is working reasonably well at this stage in the season,” he summarised.
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