Jolyon Palmer will get to race with the new Renault floor for the first time at the Hungarian Grand Prix, as his bosses ramp up the pressure on the Briton to score his first points of the year.
The updated parts that Renault gave to Nico Hulkenberg at Silverstone last week helped him deliver the team’s most competitive performance of the season, with the German qualifying and finishing sixth.
With both the Enstone-based team’s cars now due to run the floor at the Hungaroring, Renault is eager to end its first half of the season with another good points haul, and wants an end to its recent reliability dramas and both cars in the top ten.
Renault F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul said: “We have shown at Silverstone that we are continuing to improve.
“Chassis developments, in particular the new floor, proved to be positive exemplified from Nico’s eight points and both cars showing strong qualifying pace. It’s critical to back up this improvement with both cars finishing in the top ten in Hungary – we want to finish the first half of the season on a positive note.
“To achieve this, we need to put behind our reliability problems. We know our situation and the areas which require more attention.
“Our targets remain unchanged; we want to be sixth by the end of play on July 30 and fifth by the end of the season. A double-points finish is well within our reach.”
Renault is currently eighth in the constructors’ standings. It is three points behind Haas, which itself is four points behind Toro Rosso in sixth.
If Renault is to achieve its sixth-place target in Hungary, it will need either to match its season-best sixth placed spot with a single car – or get both cars inside the top eight.
For Palmer, whose retirement at Silverstone was caused by a problem with an O-ring in the hydraulic system, the new floor is viewed as a key factor in helping lift his confidence for Budapest.
“I drove with the new floor in FP1 [at Silverstone] and it was working nicely, meaning I’m happy to have it for Budapest,” he said.
“Nico showed the benefit of the floor across last weekend with his strong qualifying and race pace. It’s exciting for the team as we looked competitive and ahead of our midfield rivals. That’s all I hope for in Hungary.”
As well as the new floor, Renault will test new front bodywork and a modified cooling package in Hungary.