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Renault's Hungary preview

NEWS STORY
21/07/2017

Cyril Abiteboul, Renault Sport Racing Managing Director: We head to Hungary with a positive mood brought about by the recent performance gains we have seen to the R.S.17. Budapest is the final race before the summer break and this gives us added motivation.

Silverstone had many strong positives, which occurred on the weekend of our 40th anniversary. We made a return to the points thanks to Nico's impressive drive to sixth place; our joint best finish of the season. He drove well with few mistakes and we combined that with a good strategy and pit-stop, to finish over 30 seconds ahead of the Force Indias. However, this success is tinged with disappointment for Jolyon who unfortunately could not start the race after an issue with the hydraulic system. He was in a good position on the grid in eleventh at his home race and was well on course to be in contention for his first points of the season, thus it's a disappointment.

We have shown at Silverstone that we are continuing to improve. Chassis developments, in particular the new floor, proved to be positive exemplified from Nico's eight points and both cars showing strong qualifying pace. It's critical to back up this improvement with both cars finishing in the top ten in Hungary - we want to finish the first half of the season on a positive note. To achieve this, we need to put behind our reliability problems. We know our situation and the areas which require more attention.

Our targets remain unchanged; we want to be sixth by the end of play on 30th July and fifth by the end of the season. A double-points finish is well within our reach.

The British Grand Prix weekend was also notable for other reasons. Our Academy and other drivers showcased their talent on the track. Test Driver Nicholas Latifi scored his first-ever Formula 2 win after a calm drive on Sunday, whilst Jack Aitken and also Development Driver Oliver Rowland were on the podium in Silverstone in GP3 and Formula 2, respectively. Elsewhere, Christian Lundgaard had another good weekend with two wins and a podium in Formula 4.

Ahead of Silverstone, Formula 1 held a fantastic event in London. Feedback has been universally in praise of this, so we are hopeful of similar initiatives in the future.

Chassis Technical Director Nick Chester explains the demands of the challenging Hungaroring circuit as the R.S.17 continues to demonstrate improved pace.

What are the challenges of the Hungaroring?
Nick Chester: It's tight and twisty throughout, aside from a big long straight across the start and finish line. It has many low and medium speed corners, which demand stability on corner entry and strong traction on the exit. It's quite hard on both the front and rear tyres so overall it can be characterised as a tough handling circuit. It's not the most frequented of circuits, so the surface starts the weekend a bit green, then improves through the weekend.

What are your post-Silverstone thoughts?
NC: We had significant aero upgrades in Silverstone and we expected to see improvements in overall grip and stability. We made the car more drivable with more downforce. It took a big step forward and we could see that in the measurements made in the car, so we are reasonably confident this will carry forward.

What caused Jo to miss the race?
NC: It was something as simple as an O ring in the hydraulic system. We've been investigating thoroughly to determine why it failed to ensure we don't see this again.

What new parts are there for Budapest?
NC: Both cars will have the new floor we validated. We will evaluate updated front bodywork and a modified cooling package.

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