Renault is for podiums

Ricciardo is seen "fighting for the top-3 with Red Bull" at Monza. The RS20 excels on low-downforce circuits: "I found what I needed."

The Renault is emerging as the midfield leader on low downforce circuits such as Spa or Monza, and from inside the garage they feel capable of fighting for the podium at the Italian GP this weekend. Daniel Ricciardo, who has placed a tattoo on Abiteboul's skin, says so if he can open a bottle of champagne before leaving for McLaren: "Cyril is nervous, I told him to choose where he wants to do it." They are very safe at the Enstone house after fourth and fifth place in Belgium fighting on the track with Albon.

Among the keys are the improvements introduced in the second week of Silverstone. "At Silverstone we found something specific in the 'set-up' and I in particular found what I needed, from the second free practice, it was a turning point," says the Australian. It also helps to understand the behavior of the car in detail: "At Spa we are not scared to change the car on Friday night, the track evolves and we have to keep changing the car even if we go well. We were brave, it made sense to do it and it worked. Risky to touch such a good car, but the risk was calculated and we benefited more than others ".

"The car is better with these low downforce settings, although I'm not quite sure why, I'm not an aerodynamic engineer. As a driver it certainly shows," he says. The goal now is to replicate these features on another class of circuits where power is less important: "I wonder if we can go with less wing, which may seem like a weakness, and take advantage of a high downforce circuit. I think we can give it a try. , we should be able to extract something from these settings with more aileron. "

Regarding the podium, he warns Abiteboul that Monza is the ideal circuit for this Renault: "I told you to be alert because in 2019 we were very, very strong at Monza and if we are at that level we can fight for the podium. We can go. to Monza with confidence and thinking big. He could have been with Verstappen in the last stint, he pushed at the beginning and we lost time with the difference in strategy. But Monza we should be very competitive. " In fact, Ocon did pass Albon on the track. Renault can be a problem for Red Bull on the huge Autodrome straights.

Ricciardo, who is eighth in the World Championship, has not been on the podium since his triumph in Monaco 2018. Renault's last podium as an official team was achieved by Nick Heidfeld at the 2011 Malaysian GP, although Raikkonen and Grosjean achieved several more top-3s two victories for the Finn in the Lotus era and Enstone's team was almost identical. The gap between the middle class and champagne is huge in this Formula 1, with Mercedes and Red Bull at an unattainable level, but the step back from Ferrari and the improvement of the French house has brought them surprisingly close to those goals. Well, also, for the interests of Fernando Alonso before his return in 2021.

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