Renault says bad days were key to 2020 progress

Renault says its most difficult weekend last year was key for delivering the answers that helped it make rapid progress over the second half of the Formula 1 season.

Renault says bad days were key to 2020 progress

The French car manufacturer took three podiums last year en route to a fifth place finish in the constructors' championship.

But the highlights over the second part of the campaign were in contrast to some difficult races early on, like the Spanish Grand Prix, where neither Daniel Ricciardo nor Esteban Ocon finished in the points.

Reflecting on how the team was able to make such a step forward after the early events, Renault chassis technical director Pat Fry said that really important knowledge was gained on the back of its biggest struggle.

"Barcelona was, I think up until Turkey, our worst race of the season," explained Fry.

"But while it was a bad weekend for us, when we actually went through and looked at it, and tried to understand it from analysing that poor performance, you actually end up working out what you need to do.

"So yes it was disappointing, but I think we learned a lot from that on how we should optimise the package we've got.

"By Spa, and I think that medium downforce level is classically a level that Renault works well at with, that knowledge we have in the setup and a few developments that have been coming through, meant it was quite reasonable for us."

Read Also:

One of the key moments that Ricciardo highlighted about Renault's 2020 campaign was the setup breakthrough that he found at the second Silverstone race.

Tests during Friday's free practice sessions helped unlock a platform that the Australian felt very comfortable with, and that helped Renault unlock more gains over the remainder of the year.

Fry has played down the significance of that moment though, as he suggested the season was more about building up momentum.

Asked about Ricciardo's talk of a setup breakthrough, Fry said: "I'm clearly not going to tell you exactly what it was, but I think our understanding has been improving on how to set the car up.

"I was surprised by the size of his comments to be completely honest. It was clearly enough to get his attention, but I think there was still quite a lot more of performance we needed to find.

"It's like all these things: the devil's in the detail, isn't it? But it certainly helped our qualifying at the second Silverstone. I think it was the first time we were looking reasonably strong in qualifying, although the race was a little bit more of a challenge."

 

shares
comments

Related video

Stroll: 2020 results answered own questions over F1 capability

Previous article

Stroll: 2020 results answered own questions over F1 capability

Next article

F1 team boss and Ron Dennis backer Tony Vlassopulos dies

F1 team boss and Ron Dennis backer Tony Vlassopulos dies
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Renault F1 Team
Author Jonathan Noble
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Prime

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Prime

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping .

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Prime

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is no guarantee.

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The themes to watch in F1's Imola return Prime

The themes to watch in F1's Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Prime

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. Ben Anderson looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Prime

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says Nigel Roebuck.

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now? Prime

Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021