The managing director of Renault’s F1 team, Cyril Abiteboul, is optimistic ahead of the new F1 season beginning this weekend in Australia, and believes their new R.S.20 car and driver line-up have great potential.

Renault thanked Hulkenberg after three seasons and brought Ocon, who was a Mercedes’ test driver last year, making one of the strongest lineups with Ricciardo this season.

Pre-season testing has gone well with very competitive Ricciardo time on C5 tyre on the last day and the car is better in areas where its predecessor R.S.19 was weak – it has more downforce and grip is more constant in long duration corners.

“After a good end to pre-season testing in Barcelona, we head to Australia with ambition but with a hint of caution given the relative unknown of the competition level of our rivals. The first race is the time everyone on the grid shows their true hand,” said Abiteboul.

“We are as best prepared as we can be for the start of the year thanks to the hard work across Enstone and Viry over the winter months. These efforts were exemplified in pre-season testing with solid engine reliability and a performance level, which fitted with what we expected to see. Now we aim to see the benefits of our preparation come to fruition at a race weekend.”

“The car and driver line-up have great potential for a good season. Daniel is highly motivated for 2020 and especially for his home race. Esteban too has a hunger in his eyes to prove why he deserves to be on the grid, and I believe this combination is the perfect recipe for success. As a team, we need a clean first weekend, everything to run as smooth as possible and then we will almost certainly reap the rewards from it.”

“The season is going to be long and there will be some opportunities along the way, which we have to seize. Our objectives are set, we are well prepared and we’re looking forward to opening the season.”

“Daniel Ricciardo enters his second Australian Grand Prix wearing Renault colours, and his ninth ever racing at the Albert Park Circuit in Formula 1. Together with the support from a raucous home crowd, Daniel is aiming to score a strong result in Melbourne and kickstart his second season with the team in style.”

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