Nico Hulkenberg says Renault concluded its pre-season testing programme with “no major concerns” surrounding its 2019 Formula 1 car. 

Renault racked up the third-highest total of laps in the mileage charts and also hinted at some promising one-lap pace as Hulkenberg posted the fifth-fastest time in what proved to be a solid winter for the French manufacturer. 

The team also claims to have made strong progress in its engine development, saying it has already reached the “high targets” it set for its latest power unit in its bid to close the gap to leading trio Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull. 

Nico Hulkenberg F1 Driver Profile 2018

“It feels okay,” Hulkenberg said when asked about his impressions of Renault’s latest challenger. “You always have some weaknesses, if you’re entirely happy it means you’re under-driving it. 

“When you push generally around here [Barcelona] it’s quite a tough track on the tyres so you have to be careful on a long stint not to go through tyres too quickly. 

“We know Barcelona is very heavy and hard on the front left especially. You’ve got to distribute the tyre life over the stint, I think that’s the main limiting factor, more than car balance. 

“Of course different cars probably are better or worse with tyres probably, but the car feels alright with low fuel high fuel - no major concerns in one area.”

Hulkenberg has been joined by Daniel Ricciardo at the team for the upcoming campaign, and the German feels both drivers are on the “same page" with their feedback of the R.S.19. 

“I think we have the same view, the same feeling about the car, more importantly we are looking for the same thing from the car which is good,” he added. 

“For a team it can be confusing if one driver sometimes tells you left and one tells right, but it seems we’re on the same page there.”

Ricciardo said there was “no hard evidence” that Renault will continue to lead the midfield order in 2019, but Hulkenberg insisted he is “not concerned” by the threat posed by its rivals. 

“I think we are aware that competition is around and competition is tight,” Hulkenberg explained. 

“I find it interesting as every year people say the midfield is as tight as ever but it is always tight, it is always competitive. I’ve pretty much spent my entire career in the midfield so I know about it! 

“We just need to make sure we stay on top of things, we come through with the development that we expect from us, a big factory team, but for sure Alfa look strong, Haas look strong, Racing Point, there are good teams out there that we’re also up against. 

“We beat them last year doesn’t mean we’re naturally now in front of them, we need to work for it and make sure it happens like that.”