Ask Tim: The underachieving F1 team that needs to “pull its socks up” – F1

In what areas is McLaren still outperforming Renault and how much of that is down to the drivers?

Jamie Holding, via email

I don’t think it’s as simple as saying ‘the drivers are doing a better job’. Looking at the Renault and its engine customer, the McLaren car is better. Carlos Sainz Jr came close to outqualifying Alex Albon in the Red Bull for the Spanish Grand Prix and beat him in the race to finish sixth, which was a fine effort. It’s been strong everywhere so far and seems to have a good balance, while Renault didn’t manage to get either of its cars into Q3 in Spain and continues to blow hot and cold.

At times Daniel Ricciardo has shown good pace in the Renault and his lap to go fifth at the Anniversary GP was excellent, although I was a bit taken aback by his comment that he thought he could be mixing it with the Racing Points, which didn’t ever materialise.

A lot of the people that were at Renault when I was there have since moved on to other teams, but also there are a lot of people still in the hierarchy who are very fixed in their ways. It takes almost a completely new broom to take on fresh ideas. If Adrian Newey turned up there, you would have a completely different car all of a sudden. But it hasn’t really put anybody in place that has been able to lift the team up from where it is now.

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