Renault's Abiteboul: 'Abu Dhabi a championship in itself!'


Formula 1's huge mid-field battle will reach its epilogue in Abu Dhabi, with Renault still aiming for sixth place in the Constructors' standings.

The French manufacturer's works team is just four points behind Toro Rosso while Haas is sixth points adrift from the Faenza-based outfit.

"We go to Abu Dhabi aiming to finish this rollercoaster season on a high," says Renault Sport F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul.

"This race is almost a championship in itself as we are in a tight battle with Toro Rosso and Haas, and everything is still to play for.

"Either one of us could finish between sixth and eighth position so we are being very careful with our preparations.

"We will have to combine an approach that is at the same time attacking, as we need five points more than Toro Rosso to get sixth, but also conservative as we are just two points ahead of Haas."

Abiteboul is confident of Renault's chances of beating its direct rivals at Yas Marina, thanks partly to new recruit Carlos Sainz's recent contribution to the team's efforts alongside Nico Hulkenberg.

"We can be positive about our prospects," says the French manager.

"Abu Dhabi will be the fourth race Nico and Carlos have worked together and we have had two double Q3 performances.

They work well together and push each other in the right direction, allowing us to point our development accurately and accelerate elements that add performance to the car.

Whatever the result this weekend, we already have the confidence of a strong driver line-up next season."

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