Renault confirm Suzuka upgrade in bid to overhaul McLaren
Renault will bring a new front wing to the Japanese Grand Prix in a bid to improve the car's pace through the corners.
With its legendary Esses in sector one, Suzuka has always repaid teams that can combine power with downforce and is seen as one of the most challenging tracks on the F1 circuit.
Renault have struggled to meet expectations this season, with a lack of reliability and McLaren's emergence leaving them fighting to match 2018's fourth-place finish in the constructors' championship.
That is at sharp odds with their intended push towards the top three in F1.
However, the team remain confident of overhauling McLaren, who have already confirmed that development focus has switched towards next year's car.
"We are bringing a new front wing to Suzuka," technical director Nick Chester confirmed. "We also have a new chassis wing - externally the changes are pretty subtle, but we expect more downforce and grip as a result."
Analysing the full lap of Suzuka, Chester expects strain to be put on a Renault power unit that has not been the most reliable this year.
"The Esses in Sector 1 are particularly notorious as the cars sweep through them," he said.
"There's no problem with tyre warm-up and we will use the harder end of the Pirelli tyre compounds, also used at two other high-speed tracks, Silverstone and Barcelona.
"It's quite power sensitive as there are three long periods of long throttle; the straight through 130R, the pit straight and the curve between Spoon and the hairpin. It's not very high downforce due to the straights, and also fairly easy on the brakes."
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