Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul says the marque faces “stiff competition” from Toro Rosso if it is to hold on to fifth place in the Constructors’ Championship.
Renault emerged to lead Formula 1’s midfield battle in 2018 but has slipped back this year, with McLaren having already wrapped up fourth spot in the standings.
Toro Rosso carved into Renault’s advantage courtesy of Pierre Gasly’s podium in Brazil and heads to Abu Dhabi just eight points behind the manufacturer.
“The last race of the season is a time for us to reflect on a difficult 2019,” said team boss Cyril Abiteboul.
“We have had high points: a double score in Italy and strong results in Mexico, USA and Brazil, but a disappointing start of the season marked by many issues where we have had to dig deep and discover new resourcefulness.
“We enter the final race in Abu Dhabi with the pressure still firmly on. Fifth place is up for grabs in the Constructors’ Championship and we face stiff competition to maintain our current position.
“We’re confident in our ability to deliver the results we need over the weekend, but we have learned that the field is close and races are very open.”
This weekend’s season-closer in Abu Dhabi will also mark Nico Hulkenberg’s final race for Renault, bringing his three-year association to an end.
“We say goodbye to Nico after three seasons with the team,” said Abiteboul.
“His contribution has been instrumental in our reconstruction and progression.
“We have harnessed his experience and ability to deliver strong results and he has played an important role in Renault’s Formula 1 journey. We want to ensure we end our time together with the best result possible.”
Renault will line up with Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon in 2020 while Hulkenberg is set for a year on the sidelines, after potential openings at Haas and Alfa Romeo went unrealised.