Three upgrades at once coming for Renault in Austria

Jamie Woodhouse

Renault talking to "big names" for 2021.

Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul has confirmed that three upgrades are coming their way for the Austrian Grand Prix.

The team had planned upgrades for the R.S.20 to be in place for the Vietnam, Dutch and Spanish GPs.

Of course all of those races were in the end postponed or cancelled, but that doesn’t mean the upgrades were.

In fact Renault kept working on them and now all three will arrive at once for next weekends’ Austrian Grand Prix.

Speaking to Autosport, Abiteboul said: “The upgrades are coming.

“It’s been a huge effort from internal production to get the package from races three, five and six – the initial numbering obviously – from Vietnam, the Netherlands and Barcelona that will be on our car in Austria.

“Those races have obviously not happened, but the performance that was supposed to come will be in Spielberg.”

But Abiteboul said Renault’s car was “really, really bad last year” so didn’t want to sound off on how effective this triple-upgrade could be.

“I want to downplay any expectations, because we know that our car was really, really bad last year. We just hope that it will be slightly better,” he admitted.

“We’re still not totally sure about the competitiveness of our car from the winter test. I don’t want to say too much at this point.

“There is clearly a huge satisfaction from the effort that has been put into getting all these parts available in quantity also, because we all know that Spielberg can be harsh for the cars, even if there has been some kerbs being removed.

“We all had to plan in quantities also, some parts which I hope will bring some decent performance to the car.”

Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo still thinks the midfield pack will be “tight” in 2020 despite Renault’s upgrades.

But, he is hopeful that his team and their rivals have taken some steps towards Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull at the top.

“You make a bit of a summary after testing and try and understand where you stand really, and it looked like the midfield was going to be very tight,” he said.

“I guess that’s what maybe Melbourne would have looked like. As you’ve heard, we’ve got a different car to next week in Austria, it’s going to be a different car to what we would have raced in Melbourne.

“I do expect it to be tight. I do expect the whole field to certainly squeeze up this year, tighten up.

“I think the gap to the leaders will close, and I think the whole midfield is really becoming, it could all be around a tenth, so it’s going to be close.

“But it’s all just talk now. We’ve got just over a week, and everyone will have some answers, including us.”

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