Esteban Ocon believes a new power unit in his Renault Formula 1 car will help him bounce back at the Belgian Grand Prix following a difficult race in Spain.
At Barcelona, Ocon was only able to qualify 15th – and finished the race 13th after struggling all weekend for performance.
For the seventh race of the year at Spa, Renault will supply the French driver with a fresh power unit, and he will also be entitled to a new gearbox.
Ocon is hoping that the new elements will help him to close the gap to team mate Daniel Ricciardo that has been evident in recent races.
“I feel Spa is going to be a fresh start,” he said.
“Obviously we have a week to analyse, and recover all together, there is going to be a new gearbox, a new engine, a lot of new parts as well, because we’re obviously not happy with the performance difference between the cars.
“But hopefully that will make it closer, and it’s going to be a fresh start for my side of the garage.
“We’re changing the engine for the straightline speed that I was lacking.
“But there are also other areas, where we feel we’re not as competitive compared to the other side of the garage.
“We’re going to change the power unit and see if it makes a difference or not, but only time will tell.
“In my mind, I believe yes.”
Ocon anticipates that the FIA’s plan to oblige teams to run the same engine modes in qualifying and the race from Spa will help Renault’s prospects.
“I think we’re good because our race mode is very competitive at the moment. I don’t know exactly if some manufacturer turns up their engine a bit more in qualifying than others.
“But what I know is that our race mode is competitive, so hopefully it will play in our favour.
“Let’s see, at the moment we’re fighting against the McLaren, against the Racing Point, so the McLarens are going to be similar to us in the end, because it’s the same engine.
“Let’s see how it turns out, same for everyone, but hopefully it could level up the field.”
Reflecting on his return to F1 after a year out, Ocon said: “There have been some good signs this season, we have shown we’re capable of been quick, of doing it.
“Qualifying in fifth in my second Grand Prix was nice, but then we had a missed opportunity in the race.
“Then we had a little bit of a down in Budapest, then an up in Silverstone, then a down [in Spain].”