Renault team principal Eric Boullier has said that the team thus far has yet to reveal their car’s full potential during pre-season testing. Although Robert Kubica did manage to turn a few decent laps, for the most part both Renault drivers languished in the bottom half of the daily time sheets.
But as reported in ESPNF1, Boullier recently said, “We took a decision to run with heavy fuel at every test because we believed this was the best way to understand and improve the car,” he said. “In terms of outright performance, I hope we are close to the top four teams. There is a big upgrade package for Bahrain, the main part of which is aerodynamic.”
Robert Kubica offered his opinion on the subject, saying, “It’s difficult to judge performance, but we’re heading in the right direction. We also haven’t run with all our new updates yet and there is another aero upgrade for Bahrain, which we hope will match the wind tunnel predictions and improve performance. Overall, it seems that all the top teams are quite close, but some have definitely hidden their full potential during testing and will also have more updates for Bahrain. So far, I think Ferrari and Mercedes look very strong.”
Kubica echoes a sentiment shared by many in the paddock, namely that ata this stage it’s difficult to judge if any one of the Big Four teams, or any of the other teams, has a distinct performance advantage over their rivals. Most of the personnel of the Big Four, when asked, seem quick to credit the other teams with superiority in race trim, but thus far there is no real reason to substantiate this.
If, as looks to be the case, the Big Four attain a rough parity in the first several races of this year, we could be in for an exciting season.