The German Nico Hulkenberg remains pragmatic for Renaults chance to push up the grid: it will take quite a while until the Renault factory team can have a say in the Formula 1 front runners.
The French team have stated before the start of the season that they want to win the title of “Best of the Rest” behind the three big F1 teams Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull Racing. So far they are in 4th with 92 points, only 8 away from Haas but a staggering 227 from 3rd place Red Bull.
Had Force India stayed in the game, their combined total would’ve knocked out Renault to 5th as the pink squad would’ve totalled 102 points. The change of ownership mid season removed all previous team points, effectively starting off their campaign from scratch from Spa onwards.
Nico Hulkenberg reveals that it’ll be years for Renault to bridge the gap to Red Bull and the others, despite multiple race winner Daniel Ricciardo’s arrival with the team for 2019. The performance of Renault must indeed be a concern for the Australian. Even the most ambitious estimates of improvement would mean a continued gap for the foreseeable future.
During his visit to the Paris Motor Show, the German, in an interview with French newspaper L’Equipe, emphasised:
“The midfield is highly competitive. Our opponents have worked hard to make life difficult for us. ”
“And we [ I ] did not do very well in this phase” says the self critical driver.
“We still have a good car and I think we can improve in the last four races and defend fourth place in the constructors Championship.
“That would be an improvement compared to last year. And that means we are moving in the right direction.”
The 31-year-old also refers to the progress that Renault has made since his arrival last year. “The team has grown a lot thanks to the investments Renault has made. The facility and facilities have been improved. The team has been enlarged and the resources increased.
“Everything you could ask for from a manufacturer is now available.”
“Our goal is always to be at the top.” But he also warns: “And we want to fight for podium finishes and victories – in a few years. But we are still in the development phase. I think we have created the right structures, and on this basis we can build in the next few years. “