Renault is refusing to give up in its bid for a top-five finish in this year’s Formula 1 constructors’ championship despite trailing Williams by over 20 points heading into the final flyaway rounds of the season.
Renault returned to F1 in 2016 as a constructor after six years away, and has made progress through its second season back, scoring over four times as many points as in the entirety of the previous campaign.
Renault set a top-five finish in the teams’ standings as its pre-season target, but sits eighth with seven races remaining on 34 points, 21 back from Williams in P5.
Nevertheless, team chief Cyril Abiteboul says the Enstone crew remains determined to give its all through the closing stages of the season, not relenting in its bid to catch Williams.
“We are now focusing on these busy Asia rounds. Williams sit just 21 points ahead of us in fifth place
in the constructors’ championship and, with seven races to go, it’s very much in our capability to chase
that down by the end of the season,” Abiteboul said.
“We need to create some momentum and string together some consistent results with both cars inside the top ten. Singapore will be vital to kick start this effort.”
Abiteboul confirmed in Renault’s pre-race preview that two personnel changes had come into play in time for Singapore, intended to boost its bid to catch Williams.
“Track side, from the Singapore Grand Prix, Matthieu Dubois takes on the role of head of race strategy of Renault Sport Formula 1 Team. He will functionally report to our Sporting Director Alan Permane,” Abiteboul said.
“Matthieu joined Renault Sport in 1998 where he has held various positions including the one of Race Strategist at Enstone from 2008 to 2012. Up until now, Matthieu has been in charge of the customer track teams (Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso).
“Simultaneously, Ricardo Penteado, head of the engine track service, will take the direct responsibility for all three teams. In his day to day activities, he will be supported by the lead engineer from each team. He will also be in charge of liaising with our customers at the track.”