Late completion of auto jeopardises Renault's shakedown plans

6:39                                            Renault drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo discuss their hopes for the new season

6:39 Renault drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo discuss their hopes for the new season

Nico Hulkenburg and Daniel Ricciardo with the Renault RS19, bearing the Australian's No.3.

However, Ricciardo has been encouraged by his experiences in the Renault factory so far, and appreciates that the workers and engineers behind the scenes have been working tirelessly while the drivers have had time off.

Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul believes the team's commitments to returning to the front of the grid is clear in the changes it has been making to every level of its operation.

"If I share a little bit of a secret, we are still due to start doing our shakedown on Saturday during a filming day".

Abiteboul blamed the late sign-off on regulations for the 2019 F1 season but also admitted the team had cut things fine by trying to maximise their development time.

"Sometimes we are vocal about the late change of regulation", he said, "and this is the harsh reality of that late change".

"I am not going to be bitter if they beat us in Melbourne". So I think to a certain degree when when you are in such a situation you are a bit more complacent with milestone and internal planning.

Renault has grown in numbers and spent heavily on equipment, bringing in new resources including two Breton 1500 matrix dynamic machine tools at around $1 million each within the past year. "You don't want to turn up and have to shakedown your auto and realise that there is something that isn't working". You can't negotiate the lead time with suppliers, the lead time is the lead time.

"The added momentum of the Daniel-Nico partnership brings confidence to the team this season", said Abiteboul. We are humble and professional enough to know that.

"We do not target x or y position or a number of points: what I want to see is that the team continues its trajectory of progression towards the top teams".

"I haven't walked past anything yet [at the factory] and said: 'Red Bull had that, you guys need that", he said. "2019 will feel different because I'm jumping into a totally new auto and a new team". That's why my thoughts are really with production which are, as we are speaking, massively working to get the parts out of the door for us to be ready in testing.

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