Japanese Grand Prix – Renault will have a new front wing on their RS19 this weekend, with the team introducing updates for the final batch of races.
Renault are set to bring some updates to their car this weekend, as the French team attempt to close the gap on their customer team McLaren for P4 in the championship.
With Renault slowly but surely closing the gap in the engine power department, their attention for the final batch of races is improving the downforce of their RS19. Chassis technical director Nick Chester confirmed that some new parts will be fitted this weekend, and are set to be tested out in practice on Friday: “We are bringing a new front wing to Suzuka. We also have a new chassis wing – externally the changes are pretty subtle, but we expect more downforce and grip as a result.”
Speaking about the unique challenges of the Suzuka circuit, Chester explained: “The drivers enjoy Suzuka as it’s a good, old school racing track. Many regard it as one of the best tracks on the calendar. It’s very long at 5.807km, with lots of elevation changes, long straights ending in tight chicanes or hairpins and interesting corners. It’s a challenge to get right, requiring strong front-end grip for Sector 1 with high speed change of direction but with enough stability to give driver confidence.”
Daniel Ricciardo said that Suzuka is one of his favourite circuits, and that Renault are pushing hard to try stealing P4 away from McLaren: “Suzuka has some old school characteristics, which I really enjoy. It’s fast and flowing, while also quite raw and bumpy. I like the corner combinations at Suzuka. It’s up there with one of the best circuits as it has a bit of everything and that’s what we love. Our focus is on Japan and ensuring we do a good job there. It’s important we come away with something to keep in the race for fourth. We know it’s going to be tough, but we won’t give up.”
Nico Hulkenberg may be entering his final few races for Renault before heading off for pastures unknown, but his focus is very much on helping his current team on achieving that goal: “We’re still in the battle for fourth. Our Sunday’s especially have to be cleaner, but that’s down to a range of factors: on my side, on the team’s side and some things we can’t control. We have to target big points in Japan.”