Renault Sport F1’s own media communication indicates that the 2021 season will be the French manufacturer’s if you believe their hype, indeed it was 2020 until expected performances didn’t come to fruition.
Imagine the comparative calendar in relation to the brand’s last 2000/2009 campaign, the upward curve in performance – This time 2021 was equivalent in time to 2005, the year in which the first world championship was crowned. Let’s compare whether the current evolution of the team is in line with the previous planning.
In 2016, the Renault had taken over the Lotus F1 Team a few months earlier.
Looking back to the first phase 2000/2003, Benetton/Renault had finished 4th in the championship with 20 pts in 2000, which is 12% of the world champion’s points (Ferrari, 170 pts).
For the following season, it registered only 10 pts and will finish 7th of the world championship, representing a modest 5.5% of the points of the Scuderia Ferrari that year (179 pts).
In 2002, had scored 23 pts and finished 4th in the championship, increasing the score to 10.5% of the points scored by Ferrari (221 pts). In 2003, it will remain 4th in the championship with 88 pts and a victory. This year there the French team had scored 56% of the points of the Scuderia Ferrari, then world champion with 158 pts.
For this second phase 2016/2019, and if we follow the same logic, let’s compare it with the campaign undertaken by Renault in 2016. Renault entered this first year 8 pts in the championship and finished 9th in the championship.
This point ratio represented only 1% of the points scored by Mercedes AMG (765 pts) that season. For 2017, Renault scored 57 pts and finished 6th in the manufacturers’ championship, which represents 8.5% of the points scored by Mercedes (668 pts).
In 2018, the French brand moved up to 4th place in the championship by scoring 122 pts, representing 18.5% of the points scored by Mercedes (655 pts). In the last season 2019, Renault finished 5th with 91 pts in the championship, i.e. 12.4% of the German brand’s points (739 pts).
The progress is therefore much slower than expected in the previous planning. In 2019, Renault should have scored more than 400 pts and rivaled Red Bull Racing in the championship. Whereas the comparison 2000/2002 and 2016/2018 was finally quite similar in relation to the championship’s dominant leader. It was even ahead of the current planning.
In 2004, Renault finished third in the championship with another victory and had scored 105 pts in the championship. This represented 40% of the points of the Scuderia Ferrari world champion that year (262 pts). According to the 2020 projection, Renault Sport F1 will have to score nearly 50% of the points of the next manufacturers’ world champion. This means between 320 pts and 370 pts to stay on the same dynamic.
So really, Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon really should be concerned about the teams’ chances. The 2021 rule shake up could brake the resolve of the parent manufacturer if the French brand doesn’t score some serious points this season.