Renault heads to Austria with big upgrade package in its bags

Renault F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul says the team will field a heavily revised R.S.20 at next week’s season opener in Austria where it will implement a trio of upgrades initially scheduled for earlier races.

Renault was due to gradually update its R.S.20 in the opening first six races of the 2020 season, starting in Vietnam, with additional changes programmed for Zandvoort and Spain.

However, the cancellation of the opening ten events of the campaign forced a change of strategy at Enstone where engineers continued to work on scheduled developments.

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The initial succession of upgrades have therefore been rolled into one massive update that will be put into effect next week at the Red Bull Ring.

“The upgrades are coming,” Renault F1 team principal Cyril Abiteboul told reporters on Friday.

“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.”

Abiteboul is taking a conservative approach to next week’s opening race, but underscored Renault’s efforts during the hiatus to field an updated car while also building the team’s crucial inventory of spare parts that will be required in the coming weeks.

“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,” Abiteboul admitted.

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“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.”

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