Renault says that they have found the biggest power gains since the new power unit rules were introduced in 2014 which should be the driving force behind their 2019 F1 campaign.
Since the beginning of the hybrid turbo-era, the Renault F1 engine had a huge power deficit behind the leading Mercedes, but also behind Ferrari which has gradually caught up with Mercedes, even in the qualifying mode where they were behind them in the first few years.
Although Renault keep promising every year that they will significantly reduce the gap over the winter, it has not happened in the last two years so the gap for has remained at over 50 HP in the qualifying and around 25 – 30 HP in the race.
But with the new power unit R.E.19 it should be a different story because according to Cyril Abiteboul they had a very productive winter in the area.
“I will not tell you the figure, but it’s significant,” Abiteboul said about the amount of power found this winter.
“The most I can say is that progress has been biggest so far since the V6 engines have been introduced.”
“It is very much new, and it is just pushing further the concept that we introduced and tested successfully with Red Bull, the C-specification engine that we did not use [due to reliability fears].”
“But we had enough information with Red Bull and this year we’ve taken the concept a lot further.”
Renault must ‘keep progressing’
Renault’s first comeback season as the factory team in 2016 ended in the ninth place and the next two years they finished in sixth and fourth although they admit that the next step would be much harder to make.
“The most important thing is that we don’t stop, we must not break the momentum we have started,” Abiteboul said.
“For three years ago, we showed clear progress, I do not want to say anything that would be killing that. Last year our championship was a success story and I think it’s fair to say that further progress in the championship will last a little longer.”
“It is very clear, we are humble and professional enough to know it, but it is important to somehow demonstrate that our ambitions are serious. I want to believe and I believe that we can show it with the engine, where we had a very, very strong winter. ”
“As far as chassis is concerned, we have a structure, but it will take some time before we can produce race a winning car.”