Prost: Renault targeting more than passing Red Bull
Alain Prost is sure Renault are not missing out by not having a 'junior' partner team and says that overtaking Red Bull is not the limit to the French team's ambitions in 2019. Renault and Red Bull have been pitched as preseason rivals after the latter walked away from their engine deal for 2019.
Red Bull and Toro Rosso have moved much more closely together for the coming season, while the ties between Ferrari and Alfa Romeo are obvious.
But F1 legend Prost, an advisor to the works Renault team, says not having a real partner or 'B' team is not an issue for the French outfit.
"I don't think it's a problem," he told Ouest France newspaper.
"It's more about the drivers. With Toro Rosso, Red Bull has managed to have Vettel, Ricciardo, Verstappen, so we may have a handicap in relation to that.
"But for me the real advantage is not for the factory team, but those who benefit like Haas or Alfa Romeo.
"At Renault, we are not going to focus on that. We have our identity, we have a reference with McLaren who have the same engine, and we hope that they will come back."
Renault finished fourth in the constructors' championship in 2018, and has targeted a clear step forward for this year.
Does that mean the team is targeting displacing former customer Red Bull for third overall?
"It will depend as much on us as on them," Prost answered.
"Chassis wise, I do not think we can be at their level yet. But on the engine side, we have no fear.
"I think if they (Red Bull-Honda) are fast but not necessarily very reliable, we'll see what happens. We aim to get closer to the best, and that is not done by focusing on Red Bull," he added.
"We have no problem of misplaced pride in relation to them. They are one of the three that must be caught up."
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