slashed ’s advantage in the fight for fourth in the constructors’ championship after and finished fourth and fifth in the , but lost ground again after two disappointing races in Singapore and Russia.

It is refusing to relent in its fight to end the year best-of-the-rest and will bring a new front wing and a new “chassis wing” to this weekend’s race at .

Chassis technical director said that “externally the changes are pretty subtle, but we expect more downforce and grip as a result”.

is not a high-downforce circuit and has long flat-out runs throughout the lap that Chester admits produces “high sensitivity to drag” and a “difficult compromise” when picking the rear wing.

A stronger front end could help that balance and would benefit in the first sector, which features a lot of high-speed direction changes.

Tyre warm-up is also expected to be an issue with Pirelli bringing its harder tyre compounds, and more downforce could help with this as it seeks to cut into the 33-point deficit it has to in the fight for fourth.

Hulkenberg, who has scored points in the last four grands prix and drawn himself level with on 34 points, believes needs to eye a strong haul from . He admits is not making the most of its opportunities, with the team managing to get both cars in the points just three times this year.

“It’s obvious we missed out on points in and Russia and that’s frustrating given our competitive pace and qualifying positions,” said Hulkenberg, who has started two of the last three races from sixth on the grid.

“We’re still in the battle for fourth. We have to focus race by race and extract everything from the weekend.

“Our Sundays especially have to be cleaner, but that’s down to a range of factors: on my side, on the team’s side and some things we can’t control. We have to target big points in Japan.”

reiterated his belief that he did not “deserve” to leave the previous two races point-less and thinks “should have scored much more than we did”.

“We can’t reflect too much on it, all we can do is focus on Japan and ensuring we do a good job,” he said.

“It’s important we come away with something to keep in the race for fourth. We know it’s going to be tough, but we won’t give up.”

Daniel Ricciardo, Renault F1 Team R.S.19

, F1 Team R.S.19

Photo by: Zak Mauger / LAT Images


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