Renault will bring important upgrades to the car already from the first race of the season, scheduled in Austria next week. The Coronavirus pandemic caused the cancellation of some races, but Renault engineers, in this period of time, continued to work to improve the car so that in Austria the RS20 will present several upgrades.
"The upgrades are coming", Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul said during a press conference on Friday. "It's been a huge effort from internal production to get the package from races three, five and six - the initial numbering obviously - from Vietnam, the Netherlands and Barcelona that will be on our car in Austria".
"Those races have obviously not happened, but the performance that was supposed to come will be in Spielberg".
Despite this important package of upgrades that will debut in Austria, Abiteboul said that the team does not expect the car to be competitive: "I want to downplay any expectations, because we know that our car was really, really bad last year. We just hope that it will be slightly better".
"We're still not totally sure about the competitiveness of our car from the winter test. I don't want to say too much at this point. There is clearly a huge satisfaction from the effort that has been put into getting all these parts available in quantity also, because we all know that Spielberg can be harsh for the cars, even if there has been some kerbs being removed".
"We all had to plan in quantities also, some parts which I hope will bring some decent performance to the car".
Daniel Ricciardo spoke about the competitiveness of the car for this year, saying that he thinks the mid-table teams will be all very close.
"You make a bit of a summary after testing and try and understand where you stand really, and it looked like the midfield was going to be very tight", Ricciardo told. "I guess that's what maybe Melbourne would have looked like. As you've heard, we've got a different car to next week in Austria, it's going to be a different car to what we would have raced in Melbourne".
"I do expect it to be tight. I do expect the whole field to certainly squeeze up this year, tighten up. I think the gap to the leaders will close, and I think the whole midfield is really becoming, it could all be around a tenth, so it's going to be close".
"But it's all just talk now. We've got just over a week, and everyone will have some answers, including us", said eventually Daniel Ricciardo.
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