Renault Formula 1 chief technical officer Bob Bell is expecting the fight for P4 in the constructors' championship to "ebb and flow" through the 2018 season despite the French marque's current advantage over chasing rivals Force India, Haas and McLaren.

In its third season since returning to F1 with a works operation, Renault is currently leading the midfield runners behind the 'big three' of Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull, with Carlos Sainz Jr. and Nico Hulkenberg picking up 70 points through the opening 10 races of the season.

The team sits 19 points clear of Haas, who in turn are just two and three points ahead of Force India and McLaren respectively, leaving the midfield battle finely-poised heading into the second half of the season.

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Given its works status and greater resources compared to the smaller operations at Haas and Force India, Renault is the favourite to win the race to fourth in the standings come the end of the season, but Bell is refusing to get complacent.

"The midfield fight is becoming tighter and it’s not a comfortable situation to be in. It will ebb and flow throughout the season," Bell said.

"There will be some circuits where we’ll be stronger and at some our rivals will be stronger.

"We have to keep our focus and not get distracted by the result of an individual race, looking instead at longer term trends."

As part of its push to keep the opposition at bay, Bell confirmed that Renault will be introducing an upgraded front wing to its R.S.18 car at the upcoming race in Germany, taking place next weekend at Hockenheim.

"It’s vital for us to regain the initiative in the midfield battle," Bell said. "We let that slip in Austria but showed our fighting spirit in Silverstone, so it’s important we come out from Hockenheim in good shape. The circuit should suit us a little better than the last two rounds.

"The main [upgrade] is a new front wing which we plan to validate on Friday. We’re hoping it’s a step forwards in terms of overall car performance and will help our championship situation."



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