Secret Deal With Mercedes Behind Renault’s Improved Performance – Reports

An Italian newspaper claims there is a “political factor” behind Renault’s improved pace.

Renault had their strongest result of the season last time out at the Belgian Grand Prix, with its two cars splitting the Red Bulls to finish fourth and fifth.

The French works team, which re-entered Formula One in 2016 after a five-year hiatus, has attributed its uptick in form to finding the optimal set-up for its cars at Spa-Francorchamps.

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“We found the sweet spot. For me it was the feeling I have with the car. It was like ‘Yes, this is what we need to make the car work,’” Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo said after the Belgian Grand Prix.

“I don’t think we had a discovery like this last year, so that’s encouraging,” he added.

However, Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper has now claimed that the team’s improved on-track performance is down to them striking a deal with Mercedes.

Specifically, the newspaper alleges that Renault agreed to withdraw its appeal against Racing Point – which rivals claim illegally copied the rear brake ducts from Mercedes’ 2019 F1 car – in exchange for technical information which helped it improve the performance of its power unit.

“Renault has suddenly improved its engine. It seems that there is a political story behind this based on exchanges of favours involving the Daimler Mercedes group,” the newspaper claims.

It should be noted that the Corriere della Sera newspaper didn’t provide any material evidence to back up its claims.

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Furthermore, there has been no indication that anyone in the Formula One paddock believes Renault struck an under-the-table agreement with Mercedes to withdraw its appeal against the “Pink Mercedes” in exchange for technical information.

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