Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul says that his team would be disappointed if they finish the 2017. F1 season behind Toro Rosso who will use the same specification of their power unit.
Renault returned to Formula 1 as a factory team in 2016., and the results on the track were disappointing as the team went through an intense process of strengthening the team and expanding the infrastructure.
Toro Rosso used a year old specification of Ferrari power unit, but after significantly improved performance of Renault’s RE16 decided to return French manufacturer that will, in contrast to Ferrari, deliver the same specification, including upgrades during season.
Besides the advantages of the latest specification, Toro Rosso will benefit from technology exchange with Red Bull, who also use the same engine. Although Red Bull is currently too strong for Renault, the French team target to beat their second team Toro Rosso in 2017., who finished seventh in the standings last year, two places ahead of Renault.
“This will be a transitional year for Renault, but with a specific goal,” said Abiteboul for French Auto-Hebdo.
“Our goal is to demonstrate our ability to progress and to fight with good teams like Williams and Force India, but also to finish ahead of Toro Rosso, which will use the same power unit, in the fight for fifth or sixth place in the standings.”
Renault wants to halve the gap to Mercedes power unit
Renault reduced their power deficit to leading Mercedes, enough to enable Red Bull to fight for victories at some races and to enable Ricciardo to win the first pole position of his career and the first for the Red Bull since the 2013. Brazilian Grand Prix.
The French manufacturer have admitted that they were surprised by the progress achieved in 2016. and that they plan to achieve similiar feat this year.
“It will be challenging,” said Abiteboul.
“Last year we cut in half the performance gap with Mercedes, which has gone from one second to half a second.”
“For 2017., we want to cut that in half again in order to finish the season with approximately 0.25 seconds behind our main rivals.”
Renault has already announced that their new power unit will have some groundbreaking innovations. Also, after three years they will introduce a new generation of ERS system.