After finishing fourth in the constructors standings last season, Renault was hoping to further close the performance gap to Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull this year, at least within reason.
However, after two races in 2019, the French outfit has struggled to establish itself due to poor reliability, amassing just six points, all of which came from Nico Hulkenberg’s seventh place finish in the season opener at Melbourne.
When asked by Autosport whether this year’s car is better than last year’s racer in terms of key areas, Hulkenberg said: “We have improved on a couple of things and definitely I think the engine side has improved quite a lot over the winter.”
He then acknowledged the issues they had during qualifying in Bahrain, before reiterating that “the engine side has improved a lot.”
However, as far as chassis and aerodynamics are concerned, he said that despite the team’s work over the winter “we still have similar problems.”
When asked about his new teammate Daniel Ricciardo and how he’s been dealing with the car, the German driver admitted that performance was “similar” to 2018 and that his teammate happens to come “from a spoiled car, so he has to reset a little bit and the references are a bit different.”
While there’s plenty more racing left to do in 2019, Renault already trails 3rd place Red Bull Honda by 25 points in the Constructors standings.