Hard work still ahead for Renault despite good result - Sainz

Carlos Sainz Junior (SPA), Renault Sport Formula One Team

Carlos Sainz's fifth place finish last weekend in Baku took nothing away from the fact that hard work lay ahead for Renault says the Spanish driver.

Sainz delivered to the French manufacture its best result since its return to Grand Prix racing as a works outfit in 2016, and outperforming team mate Nico Hulkenberg in the process.

However, while encouraged by the result, the 23-year-old was quick to underline the work which remains to develop the team's R.S.18 to its full potential.

"I know there's still a lot of work to do," he told Motorsport.com.

"Especially to extract the last two tenths of the car in qualifying, like Nico is doing.

"I feel in the race I am a lot closer, but you know, if I can still do P5 without having 100 percent confidence in the car, it just means that when I get that little 5-10 percent more confidence that I need on the car, I will just be on top of it."

Results year-to-date have left Renault fifth in the Constructors' standings, just a single point behind McLaren, but the team, thanks to its step forward this year, has emerged as the most likely contender for the honorary title this season of 'best of the rest'.

But Renault is definitely inching closer to the front-runners according to Sainz.

"There’s still a gap, we’re still working on it, there’s development to come to close the gap. But it still exposes that there is a bit of work to do," he added.

"I’m not worried at all because it’s something Renault is looking at, it’s something we are working at. The gap is smaller than what it was in 2015, 2014.

"So that’s why we were also able to get into Q3 here and Red Bull is also strong."

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