Even by their standards, the 2020 Spanish Grand Prix was a big disappointment for Renault whose package for Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon was dismal on Sunday, a day no which their customer team – McLaren – managed to get both their cars in the points.
They were always going to be on the back foot after neither of their drivers progressed beyond Q2 in qualifying on Saturday, and in the race remained out of the top ten with the Australian in 11th and the Frenchman 13th
Team boss Cyril Abiteboul summed up, “Put simply, the car is not good enough at a track like this one. Barcelona is a good test when it comes to the aerodynamic efficiency of the car, so it says something about the areas we have to improve.
“We concluded our first weekend of the year without scoring any points. This is not for a lack of effort or execution from the race team and I believe we extracted all we could from the car this weekend.
“We’ve made some steps in the winter, but not enough to be on the leading side of the midfield here. It’s all very tight; two-tenths yesterday in qualifying made a big difference and, again, it was tight today in the race.
“That’s not an excuse, though. We should be at a point where we could be doing better than that. We have a clear area of focus and we will be pushing to accelerate the next upgrades on the car,” added the Renault team boss.
Ricciardo echoed his boss, “Certainly not where we want to be. At every race up until now, we’ve had at least one car in the points, so this is the first one without it.
“It was a pretty difficult race and making the one-stop work was difficult. Obviously, it’s a bit disappointing as we came here expecting much more, especially after two decent races last time out. We didn’t expect to have a difficult weekend, but it was very tight out there.
“We were close to the top ten in qualifying and in the race, so we’ll try and find out where we lost those couple of tenths and move on to the next race,” added Ricciardo who has not scored points in the last three races.
It was a similar soundbite from Ocon, “There wasn’t much more we could have done today. As a team, we struggled for pace this weekend. The car didn’t behave how we wanted, and we lacked grip and balance. We have a week off to analyse it and come back stronger.”