Renault Formula 1 team boss Cyril Abiteboul insists the French manufacturer’s challenging 2019 will not detract from its end goal of re-establishing itself as a race-winning outfit.

Upon its return to F1 as a works effort in 2016, Renault laid out ambitions plans to return to winning ways by 2021. But after making year-on-year gains in 2017 and 2018, the French squad was demoted from fourth spot in the constructors’ standings by a resurgent McLaren last season.

Speaking at the team’s pre-season launch event in Paris, where it offered early teaser imagery of its R.S.20 challenger, Abiteboul believes Renault can get back on track in 2020 despite its setbacks from last year.

“The previous years have centred around reconstruction across both facilities and human resources,” Abiteboul explained.

“This phase is now complete and now need to do justice to our ambitions and road map.

“2019 was a challenging year, but not without its merits. It provided a reminder of what it takes to succeed in this sport and the high level of competition.

“More specifically, last season enabled us to take stock of our strengths and weaknesses at the end of our initial construction period and to take appropriate action.

“We approach this new season with humility and ambition,” he added. “Humility as the challenge is huge for every team, every coming year and we are not the exceptions.

“When we returned to a changed and increasingly competitive sport in 2016, we expressed our ambitions to be world champions, and we set the bar high for every staff member.

“We need to adhere to this initial plan, without succumbing to the short-term objectives that take us away from our end goal.”

Abiteboul said Renault’s aim for 2020 is to reclaim fourth spot in the constructors’ from customer team McLaren, while maintaining three core priorities to improve on, including reliability and development, two areas which proved to be a weak points of its 2019 campaign.

“For the coming season, which starts next week in Barcelona, we must respect the three priorities identified during the off-season: reliability from the get-go; ensure a high level of development very early in the season and have a good conversion rate on track,” he explained.

“However, we also need to regain confidence and reinforce team spirit to get the best from everyone, and to maximise our chances each race weekend during this unprecedented long and challenging season.”

Daniel Ricciardo and new recruit Esteban Ocon will form Renault's revised driver line-up for 2020, following Nico Hulkenberg's departure at the end of last season. 

 

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