Renault accepts it has fallen short in 2019

Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul has conceded that the manufacturer has “fallen short” of its expectations during the early stages of this year’s Formula 1 championship.

Renault aspired to move clear of the midfield this season and close on the leading three teams, but has yet to show tangible signs of substantial progress.

Neither Nico Hulkenberg nor Daniel Ricciardo have yet made Q3 while both retired during the closing stages of the Bahrain Grand Prix due to engine-related failures.

“The start of the 2019 season has fallen short of our high expectations,” said Abiteboul.

“Our overall competitiveness is good enough for our drivers to be racing in the top 10 and closer to the top teams than last year, but we have suffered from reliability issues.

“We move onto China with caution, but also with a resolution to really get the season going.”

Ricciardo spoke in Bahrain of getting accustomed to driving with less downforce and racked up more experience in the R.S.19 during post-race testing last week.

“I’m certainly getting there in terms of extracting the maximum and getting more comfortable,” he said.

“These things do take time, but it’s good to iron out these details going forward.

“We’ll get there soon and sure enough and I’m confident we’re heading in the right direction.

“We showed signs of that over the race weekend, going from a struggle on Friday, followed by an improvement on Saturday to being in and amongst it on Sunday.

“The car clearly has pace, but for me, it’s about finding all of it. I feel there’s a lot more to come.”

Renault holds seventh position in the Constructors' Championship.