Although Nico Hulkenberg believes Renault have made significant progress with their 2019 engine, he feels the RS19 has “similar problems” to its predecessor.
Last season Renault finished fourth in the championship, pipping Haas to the ‘best of the rest’ tag.
This year, although only just two races into the season, they find themselves behind Alfa Romeo, McLaren and Haas in the standings.
Their performances have backed up pre-season claims by Daniel Ricciardo that there was “no hard evidence” that Renault would lead the midfield race.
One big issue they have, according to Hulkenberg, is that they haven’t managed to eradicate last year’s weaknesses with their new RS19.
He told Autosport: “We have improved on a couple of things and definitely I think the engine side has improved quite a lot over the winter.
“Obviously [in Bahrain qualifying] we had a problem related with that, but I think that was a special case. The engine side has improved a lot.
“I think car and chassis aero-wise, we worked over the winter but we still have similar problems.
“So I feel there is where we really need to focus and come up with something better.”
Ricciardo recently revealed that he is struggling to adapt to the Renault after years in the Red Bull.
Speaking after the Bahrain Grand Prix, the Aussie admitted: “Coming a step back as far as grip and handling, it is no secret that we are not on the pace of the car I had last year.”
Asked about his team-mate’s comments, Hulkenber said: “We’ve worked on the ride over the winter too.
“Obviously I think he [Ricciardo] comes from a spoilt car, so he has to reset a little bit and the references are a bit different.
“But it’s good to have that kind of feedback.
“This is what it takes to be a top car so it’s valuable and good assurance for the team that that’s what we need to do.”
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