Renault’s managing director Cyril Abiteboul has ordered his team to apply the same ‘offensive and decisive’ approach in the driver market to its car development after pulling off the shock signing of Daniel Ricciardo during Formula 1’s summer break.

All eyes will be on Renault heading into the Belgian Grand Prix having secured Ricciardo from next season, triggering a surprise exit from Red Bull, while the team has also retained Nico Hulkenberg with Carlos Sainz Jr set to move to McLaren for 2019.

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Abiteboul says the majority of Renault’s efforts are now moving to its 2019 F1 car with any key remaining developments for this season being applied with focus on next year given the rules tweak with simplified front and rear wings.

Renault’s chassis technical director Nick Chester has confirmed a new floor and bodywork parts will debut at Spa-Francorchamps.

“Most of our resources are now focused in preparing for 2019, which is another important step in the team’s progress,” Abiteboul said. “Before that, we have to keep bringing developments to this year’s package to find gains wherever possible.

“We are pushing on with aero developments, and will bring some concepts at upcoming races onto the R.S.18 that are ultimately destined for next year’s car.

“We’ve been offensive and decisive in the driver market and now we have to do the same on both chassis and engine development.”

Despite the 2019 focus switch, Abiteboul is eager for Renault to defend its fourth place in the F1 world constructors’ championship in order to achieve its target for this season. Renault has laid out a long-term plan of fighting for world championships when it returned to F1 as a fully-fledged works team in 2016.

“It’s good to get back to track action after a well-needed rest for many during the summer shutdown,” he said.

“The break provided us with the opportunity to recharge the batteries, reflect on the first part of the season, and prepare for the many challenges ahead of us until Abu Dhabi, in order to defend our current position in the constructors’ championship and allow Nico and Carlos to strengthen their places in the standings.”

Renault currently sits fourth in the F1 world constructors’ championship with a 16-point gap to nearest challengers Haas in fifth.

Hulkenberg holds the top midfield fighter position in the F1 drivers’ standings in seventh place, seven points ahead of Kevin Magnussen, with Sainz in 11th place but level on points with Sergio Perez.

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