After a very impressive fourth and fifth place finish in Italy, Renault has managed to close the gap to McLaren in the Constructors Standings to just 18 points with seven races still to go.
Meanwhile, Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul believes the French outfit actually has a better overall package than McLaren (which sources its engines from Renault), and that it will be able to further close that gap by making the most out of their opportunities.
“It’s a bit of an awkward situation, but clearly McLaren’s resurrection is also due to a combination of a resurgence on the power unit side and on the chassis side,” said Abiteboul in an interview with Autosport. “I think they have a better chassis in certain conditions, we have a better car overall and a better chassis in the other conditions.”
He went on to add that this is more than just an impression and that Renault’s target of finishing as “best of the rest” is still in play thanks to their massive points haul at Monza.
“Targets need to be realistic, and they are realistic for this year, being P4 was and is a realistic target. We need to keep on working and keep on delivering against it.”
Abiteboul also acknowledged that both Spa and Monza played to the strengths of the Renault package, and knows that his team squandered plenty of opportunities in past races too.
“There have been a number of tracks where we could have had this type of result, more or less, and it’s not happened. I think it’s only fair that it’s happening at least once,” he said. “We have the recollection of Bahrain [where both cars retired with technical issues], Montreal could have been better, Spa could have been better also.”
Next up on the calendar is the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix (20-22 September) at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.