Renault’s managing director Cyril Abiteboul says the French manufacturer will introduce engine updates next month at the Spanish Grand Prix.

With the bulk of upgrades by Formula 1 teams expected to be chassis and aerodynamic boosts at the Spanish Grand Prix, for both logistical reasons in Barcelona plus the opportunity for comparison data and performance tests from pre-season testing, Renault will introduce wing and bargeboard updates in Baku for the Azerbaijan race.

Abiteboul says Renault’s back-to-back performances in Bahrain and China has cemented its place as the fourth-quickest team on the F1 grid, with Nico Hulkenberg securing consecutive sixth place finishes as the top midfield finisher, and he’s keen to see the French manufacturer further strengthen its position through continual upgrades from both the engine and car side.

“In a straight fight against our competitors, we confirmed that we currently have the fourth best engine-chassis-driver combination on the grid,” Abiteboul said. “This is what we must carry forward and target at every race and the priorities are clear for both sides of Renault team at Enstone and Viry.

“Baku will mark the start of the next phase of our season push. We will debut some new chassis upgrades, specifically on the wings and bargeboards, which will be followed on the engine side in Barcelona.

“We are confident that the combination of these developments can allow us to maintain our performance. We need to remain focussed on making every single element work.”

Renault is expected to ratify the engine upgrade during the free practice sessions at Circuit de Catalunya next month with the same update available to its customer teams Red Bull and McLaren. The French manufacturer is yet to detail the exact specifics of the update and whether the predicted improvement will help ultimate performance or reliability.

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