Carlos Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg are certain they will not miss the benchmarking provided by the Red Bull drivers when the Austrian team shifts to Honda power next year.
Ever since returning to F1 as a works team in 2015, Renault has kept their long-time partner, Red Bull as a benchmark to measure their progress since the Milton Keynes outfit is only customer team on the podium.
The French Manufacturer replaced Toro Rosso with McLaren at the beginning of 2018 and next year, the Woking outfit will be their only customer. But the change does not deter the Enstone outfit. Sainz believes they already know where the car needs improving.
Speaking with Motorsport.com, Sainz said: “I think that the team is very conscious of where we are,”
“Thanks to this year and the last few years next to Red Bull, we know perfectly well where this team is lacking the last step or two to become a top team.
“But from here onwards we don’t need that figure any more; we know where we are, and where things need to improve.”
Hulkenberg agreed with Sainz and said he believes the fastest car on the grid is the right benchmark, irrespective which engine powers it.
“I agree with that,” he said. “We don’t need another team or another car as a benchmark.
“The benchmark is being in the competition anyway, and your lap times will tell you and show you were you are.
“The leading cars are always the benchmark. We know we have work to do and where we want to improve and not having Red Bull anymore is really not a disadvantage or a benefit or whatever.
“It doesn’t make a difference.”
Renault has made considerable progress in its position compared to last year. It ranks fourth in the constructors standing this season and is building a good buffer from last year’s challenger, Force India.