Renault introduced an upgraded package with a new floor on Nico Hulkenberg’s car for the British GP and it turned out to be an immediate performance gainer as the team would have almost got a top five finish before an ERS issue hampered the German to sixth position.
The French team’s managing director Cyril Abiteboul has recently admitted that before the Silverstone upgrade they were a bit flat in terms of overall developments as other components could not be put in until the new upgrade arrived.
He said that it was quite a drastic change in the philosophy of the car and that it was going to take a bit of time. They got to a degree of almost halting the development because that part was needed.
It was opening a new frame of development for the front of the car, the middle of the car with bargeboards and also the rear end. As it was said and done, there is much more to come and that will happen over the remainder of the season.
Before the update, Abiteboul said the biggest change was to sacrifice some qualifying pace to make performance on race day. Despite average qualifying position of Hulkenberg went down since the beginning; he took sixth at Barcelona in that time and was running before crashing in Baku.
Although starting with a sensible platform in qualifying, they could not turn that into race pace. Therefore, changes are made to the car for a tradeoff between qualy and race with aero balance, mechanical balance, suspension, etc.
Abiteboul said the positivity of the Silverstone upgrade is testament that Renault was moving past its teething troubles phase. This season has also been a shaky one for Renault after having to make do with a terrible time in 2016 following the buyout of Lotus.