Oct.2 (GMM) Alain Prost says Renault is struggling because its focus is now firmly on 2019.
The French team is worried about being passed by Haas for fourth place, despite signing Daniel Ricciardo for 2019 and targeting wins for the year after.
“It’s very difficult at the moment because we are not going to bring a lot of developments to the car and the engine as we are preparing for next year,” F1 legend Prost, a team advisor, told Canal Plus.
“We have not really progressed and in fact we are regressing in some areas as others have made good progress with their engines,” the Frenchman added.
“Our preparations for next year are going well, but we know that it will not be possible to catch up in a year. We would have liked to get closer to the others in the second part of the season, but we are not there and we must be aware of it,” Prost continued.
“We must remain realistic and analyse what is happening because we are not at the level we should be.”
Prost also warned those who think the F1 ‘show’ will take a big step forward next year thanks to technical rules changes.
“The show is not necessarily fantastic, but I’m not so negative either,” he told L’Equipe.
“One thing is certain — it is not the rule changes for 2019 that will change anything.
“Above all it hurts the smaller teams as they have even more work to do, for what improvement on the track? It is the big manufacturers who dominate who will work the best yet again,” Prost added.