Renault want engine progress to be the 'success story' of 2019

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Renault is hoping significant improvement with their engine will be considered a "success story" of the 2019 Formula 1 season.

The French manufacturer's power unit is considered their weak link, as it continues to lag behind Mercedes and Ferrari in both performance and reliability.

Last year, Renault acknowledged the rate of development was not sufficient against their rivals and, as a result, it cost them their biggest customer as Red Bull switch allegiance to Honda from this year.

Over the winter, signals from the factory have pointed towards progress, although the managing director of the F1 team, Cyril Abiteboul, was careful with his words.

“No figure, but it is substantial,” he told Autosport at their launch on Tuesday. “The furthest I will go is that it is the biggest we have ever done since the V6 [turbo-hybrid engine] introduction."

 And in a year when Renault admits fourth place remains their most likely goal, Abiteboul says rating their season will come by other barometers.

“In order for the progression to keep on continuing to be here, we need a number of success stories," he stated.

“I think it is fair to say that more progress in the championship will take a bit longer, that is very clear. We are humble and professional enough to know that.

“But I think it is important to have some glimpses or demonstrations that our ambitions are correct.

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“I would like and I believe that this can come from the engine side, where we have had in particular a very, very strong winter. So that will be typically a good season.

“On the chassis side, the Enstone side, we have the structure but it is going to take a bit of time before the structure can turn into a race winning car.”