The French manufacturer is ready to show a completely new car for its fourth consecutive season in Formula 1. After three years struggling in the midfield, Renault is targeting the podium with Daniel Ricciardo: with the Honey Badger going yellow, the main focus will be on the level of performance that the team can reach in 2019.
“[The car] is changing because we are trying to squeeze more performance from every area. It is a big effort to do everything from scratch, plus the regulations, but it is a performance goal. The later you leave it, the more performance you have, but the more stressful it is to get it out on time”, Budkowski told Motorsport.com.
Despite new aero regulations regarding the wings, the French squad took the chance to design everything new. The 2019 car, which has already passed FIA crash tests, will only get the power steering system from last year car, where thousands of new parts are still under development in Enstone.
Ricciardo’s main problem last year was his Renault’s powered engine which led to many DNFs throughout the season. A new chassis will help the Aussie to fight top teams, but it’s also needed a new engine design to reach reliability while getting more power.
“We are very optimistic on the engine side, but the engine side is like the chassis side, it is never finished until you actually close the engine that is going to go to the first race. It is very promising in terms of performance”, added Budkowski.
“We are still working on the engines that will start the year, and in the end performance and reliability is a trade-off. You can extract more performance from any engine, but it might not last the number of races and numbers of sessions you want to. So we have to see where that cursor stops in terms of performance versus reliability, but we are optimistic.”
Renault will launch the car on February 12 in the factory at Enstone, just a week before the beginning of winter tests in Barcelona.