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Renault: 2019 potential depends on Red Bull-Honda partnership

Written by  Dec 05, 2018

Renault Formula 1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul claims it's too soon to set goals for 2019 with the uncertainty over Red Bull's new partnership with Honda.

The French manufacturer achieved the goal of finishing 'best of the rest' in fourth in the Constructors' standings, however, the gap to the top three remains a concern as dos their inability to break free of the midfield pack.

Aerodynamic changes, an all-new engine and the arrival of Daniel Ricciardo could be a welcome boost, but Abiteboul wouldn't be drawn on how strong he expects Renault to be.

“It’s hard for me today to set goals for next year,” he said speaking with Auto Motor und Sport.

“It always depends a bit on the performance of the others in the sport but if the curve is up like ours, you want this trend to continue.

“We may not succeed in terms of a Constructors’ position, but we want to narrow the gap to the top."

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Naturally, the team most in Renault's sights are Red Bull, who ended a 12-year relationship after Abu Dhabi which had turned sour in recent seasons due to the lack of engine performance.

Unsurprisingly, Abiteboul couldn't help but have a dig at the Austrian energy drinks giant.

“Let’s wait and see what happens with Red Bull and Honda, Red Bull never tire of telling how good Honda is compared to us," he said.

“May I state that Toro Rosso is still behind us?” 

While it was true the junior team finished a distant ninth in the Constructors' standings, it was the late season development of Honda which has gotten hopes so high at Milton Keynes.

So it will be interesting to see if the Frenchman is made to eat those words this time next year.

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