Nico Hulkenberg believes Renault can pick up at Paul Ricard where it left off in Canada if it can put together another clean weekend.
A double points finish for the French outfit in Montreal, where Daniel Ricciardo and Hulkenberg came home respectively sixth and seventh, went a long towards improving its fortunes and spirits after a difficult start to its 2019 campaign.
Reliability and technical issues coupled with mishaps had left Renault far from its pre-season expectations which called for the team to run comfortably at the front of F1’s mid-field.
But crews at Enstone and Viry-Châtillon have put in the hours to correct Renault’s trajectory and set itself back on its original course, staring in Canada.
“Hard work always pays off,” said the Hulk. “It was good to see such a strong team effort and a solid result at the end.
“We’ve underachieved at previous races, sometimes through technical faults or human error, so I feel we’ve always had the potential for good results, but we haven’t scored points.
“Finally, we had a smooth and clean weekend to get points on the board. It’s hopefully a turning point in our season.”
With an upgraded R.S.19 and an engine now running at full capacity once again, Hulkenberg is confident Renault can uphold I France this week the strong form it showed last time out in Canada.
“We have some upgrades for this race, I’m excited for those, and hopefully they will add performance to the car to help us close the gap to the front teams.
“We have a good package; the car is performing consistently and I’m feeling optimistic for Paul Ricard.
“I feel the car always had this potential, but just human error, technical error, often we started really far at the back – and on circuits where you can't overtake, so it was difficult to recover.
“It is rewarding and satisfying to finally put the car where it belongs and take these points.”