Success is just a matter of time for Renault Sport. The squad was F1’s big mover last year, finishing sixth in the constructors’ championship – three spots up from its 2016 result.
But while the goal is to be a top team by 2020, how Renault achieves that is just as important – efficiency and smart management both highly valued by the French manufacturer.
Indeed, Renault Sport Racing managing director Cyril Abiteboul has said recently he wants the squad to become a top team with 85 per cent of its rivals’ capabilities and resources.
… the outfit aiming for a headcount of 650 people, as opposed to the top teams comprising between 800 and 900.
SOUNDBITE (English) CYRIL ABITEBOUL,
MANAGING DIRECTOR, RENAULT SPORT RACING:
"We need to continue to invest in the two factories, in people, in talent, recruiting what we need and investing in what we need for the future.”
It’s a strategy that has paid off in the past, with efficiency the name of the game, when the brand took back to back world championship doubles in 2005 and 2006 with Fernando Alonso…
… 10 additional crowns earned as an engine supplier, most recently with Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing in 2013.
All in all, it’s a four-decade history of success that Renault celebrated last year in Monaco, reuniting Jean-Pierre Jabouille and Alain Prost with their game-changing Grand Prix machinery.
2018 should be another strong year, the new car a likely evolution of last year’s well-balanced RS17, Nico Hülkenberg scoring points in eight of 20 races, highly rated Spaniard Carlos Sainz joining for the last four Grands Prix, his best result for the squad seventh on debut in Austin.
And it’s a pairing that’s expected to push the team forward this year, both capable of consistent points… and super-competitive…
… even if they’re not behind the wheel of an F1 car, Sainz getting an early start to the year, driving the final stage of the Rally Monte-Carlo in the VIP course car - an event his father, Carlos Sainz senior, won three times.
SOUNDBITE (English) CARLOS SAINZ,
F1 DRIVER, RENAULT:
“I really enjoyed [driving] it a lot. I really pushed in some areas where I saw there was not many risks - and then in areas where there was a lot of people I took it a bit more easy…”
Ahead of pre-season testing, all the signs are there – more success in F1 should be just around the corner.