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Renault has laid out a plan to become more competitive in qualifying against the likes of Ferrari and Mercedes by unlocking a new engine mode.

It has been observed for a long time that the Renault-powered Red Bulls are continuously left behind in dry Q3 sessions as Ferrari, and in particular Mercerdes, are able to turn up the wick to maximise performance.

Now, Renault is looking to buck that trend as it focuses its energies on qualifying set-ups as, in race, trim, the power unit is showing signs that it can take the fight to the leading duo.

“We are catching up progressively and I think the Renault power unit is actually becoming very decent in race operation, but indeed we are definitely missing something in qualifying,” Abiteboul said.

“Obviously it’s always a balance running safe and being aggressive and obviously the more potential performance we have then the more capacity we will have to be aggressive on Saturdays.

“This is what’s on plan for next year, even though we believe also that the regulation will help us in bridging any sort of deficit in relation to that on Saturday.

“So it’s positive and I think it’s something that McLaren could also see and part of the decision of working with us for the next three years.”

These statements come on the back of Christian Horner’s recent quotes stating that inability to turn the engine up in qualifying is holding Red Bull back.

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