Nico Hulkenberg feels it will be “a stretch” for Renault to hold on to fourth place in the Formula 1 constructors’ championship as it has been “a little slow” on development for its 2018 car, instead turning its attention towards next year.

Renault currently sits fourth in the constructors’ standings with four races remaining this year, holding an eight-point advantage over Haas in P5.

Renault has failed to recover a finish any higher than eighth since the German Grand Prix in mid-July, allowing Haas to close the gap in the battle to finish as the leading midfield team in F1 this year.

Speaking about Renault’s dip in form, Hulkenberg said he felt the team had fallen behind with its car updates due to attention turning chiefly towards 2019.

“I think we’ve just been a little bit slow on the development side, and we didn’t bring enough on the car to stay in that position, unfortunately,” Hulkenberg said.

“We’re still in fourth position now, but it’s going to be a tough fight until the end.

“We’ll obviously throw everything into the mix that we have but it’s definitely going to be a stretch and a challenge for us.”

Hulkenberg stressed the team was not giving up in its bid to beat Haas to fourth in the standings, but said he doubted there would be any further updates on the R.S.19 car before the end of the season.

“Of course it’s important and it’s something we feel we want to achieve. We’ve definitely not given up on it,” Hulkenberg said.

“We really want to keep that position and bring it home. But obviously the development and building of the 2019 car is happening at the same time.

“This year, we don’t expect any more developments. We have to fight with the current car and do the best with what we have."