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It appears like Renault is keen to change its approach in a bid to push its Formula One engines even further in 2018 as it looks to unleash ‘magic modes’ that boost its qualifying efforts.

The French manufacturer has improved as the current campaign has drawn on, but it is more than aware that it lacks significantly during qualifying sessions.

The inability to ramp up its engine settings much in Q3 means that rivals Mercedes and Ferrari have proved dominant in the fight for poles in recent years.

Renault F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul said that his company was focussed on addressing this shortcoming and claimed that perhaps they have been punished in the past for being a touch too defensive.

“It is something that is completely counter-intuitive for engine people – to accept to create performance to the detriment or expense of reliability,” he said. “And it has never been the philosophy of Renault to do it like that.

“We have always been in the history of Renault in F1, in terms of engine development, on the conservative side when it comes to developing performance.

“I think it is still a handicap. We are trying to pull ourselves from that philosophy, but it is a big change of mindset that will be coming with the new people who are joining our organisation.”

Abiteboul added that while the deficit was beginning to close between Renault and the other big boys, the 0.5-seconds it loses to Mercedes in qualifying needs to be addressed.

“I think it is quite visible that in race format we’ve done a step forward, in the sense we have reduced the deficit.

“There is still a small deficit which in my opinion, you can argue whether it is two tenths or four tenths, and it will depend on the track. But I think this is what we are talking about – between two and four tenths in race mode.

“Definitely it is the type of deficit which the best chassis are able to handle. That is why you have a Red Bull team that after some difficulties at the start of the season has managed to maybe create the best chassis out there right now, and they are managing that power deficit and it gives them the ability to win.

“But it is no different to actually our situation when we won the championship back in the V8 era. Our engine was not the most powerful on the grid, but actually we managed to make it work all together.

“They created a fantastic chassis and we managed to win four titles in a row, so we are going back to a situation which is almost a situation very well known between Red Bull Racing and Renault, and that was actually successful. But that is for Sunday, that is for the race.

“I cannot describe a similar situation for Saturday. It is going back to this: how do we accept to create performance to the detriment of reliability, and we are not there yet. I am not capable of quantifying that clearly, but we are talking about something that is like half a second.”

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