Former Red Bull driver Mark Webber has criticised Renault’s start to the 2019 Formula 1 season, and thinks they are drastically underperforming considering McLaren use the same engine and are enjoying an encouraging beginning to the campaign with two new drivers.
Before the new season started there were whispers of positivity from Renault, who had acquired the services of Daniel Ricciardo from Red Bull. There was even speculation that they could potentially bridge the gap in power between themselves and Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull, as as of yet it hasn’t happened.
After four races, they are seventh in the constructor’s championship, while McLaren, a customer of theirs, are fourth.
“As predicted, they’re a long way off, they’ve got a big job to do,” Webber told Australian outlet Wide World of Sports.
“They’re a team under tremendous pressure already, because their performance doesn’t back up the chat. Renault were saying in the off-season they can challenge the top three, but they’re a long way from that.
“It’s been challenging, they’ve got some reliability issues as well, McLaren are belting them with the same engine, which is not good. McLaren are a long way down the road at the moment.”
Webber, a compatriot of Ricciardo, has once again questioned whether the driver should have made the move from Red Bull to Renault.
“Daniel’s season hasn’t really started, has it?” Webber asked.
“It’s been very challenging for Renault, and it’s starting to sink in now, in terms of the amount of work in front of them.
“Daniel hasn’t forgotten how to drive, but the form guide changes very quickly in this sport. A driver’s momentum and his career can be challenged.
“He’s valued, but clearly he’s not in a good position at the moment. That’s obvious. You need results, you need to be drinking the champagne on the podium.
“That’s what concerned me with this move, so let’s hope the team can lift for him and start getting results.
“Every few months, if the performances aren’t there, other managers and agents and young drivers are trying to muscle in, the sport moves on so fast.
“Daniel benefited from it in the past, he was one of the guys that had it on the way up. Now Renault have to deliver for him.”
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