Renault Reveal ‘Disappointing’ F1 Race Weekend Which Changed Team’s Fortunes in 2020

Published 01/09/2021, 8:29 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Renault’s Esteban Ocon during practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed/Pool


Renault was desperate to make the most of last season and display positive progress on the team’s performance. The 2019 season for the Enstone team was underwhelming as they finished in P5 with 91 points. The best result for the team was when Daniel Ricciardo secured P4 in Italy.

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However, both drivers helped improve on Renault’s performance last year as the team displayed significant improvement. The team still finished in P5 but claimed twice as many points (181) and finished on the podium thrice.

Renault’s chassis technical director, Pat Fry, looked back at the season and reflected on their progress this past season. “Barcelona was, I think up until Turkey, our worst race of the season,” explained Fry.

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Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Bryn Lennon

“But while it was a bad weekend for us, when we actually went through and looked at it, and tried to understand it from analysing that poor performance, you actually end up working out what you need to do.

“So yes it was disappointing, but I think we learned a lot from that on how we should optimize the package we’ve got,” he claimed.

Fry comments on Renault F1’s set up breakthrough

Daniel Ricciardo had explained during an interview that a setup breakthrough at the Silverstone was a key moment in Renault’s 2020 campaign. According to the Australian, during the practice session that weekend, the team unlocked a platform that he felt comfortable with.

He also pointed out that the new setup also helped the Enstone based team unlock more gains throughout the year. Therefore, granting them an increase in performance level towards the second half of this season. However, Fry suggested that the season was more about building up momentum all year.

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – DECEMBER 13: Fernando Alonso of Spain and Renault Sport F1 poses for a photo with his 2005 F1 title winning Renault R25 and members of the Renault team from the same year during the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

“I’m clearly not going to tell you exactly what it was, but I think our understanding has been improving on how to set the car up. I was surprised by the size of his comments to be completely honest.”

“It was clearly enough to get his attention, but I think there was still quite a lot more of performance we needed to find,” he explained.

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Daniel Ricciardo is moving from Renault to McLaren next season. Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso is making his Formula 1 comeback as the team rebrands to Alpine. The team will hope that they can benefit from the former champion’s race-winning skills. Do you think Alonso’s comeback will help Alpine climb up the championship?
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Ayush Manjunath

586 articles

Ayush Manjunath is a Formula 1 author for EssentiallySports with more than 500 articles to his name. A Law graduate and a current Sports Management student, Ayush also has a certificate from UCLA on Sports, Media and Entertainment Management. He has an undying love for motorsports and lives to see Max Verstappen, George Russell, Charles Leclerc, and Lando Norris battle for the championship one day!

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