RENAULT head to Hockenheim this weekend with high hopes as they introduce several updates to their car.

The Enstone-based team are fourth in the Formula 1 constructors’ championship after a productive first half of the season.

But they know improvements will be needed to stay clear of the chasing pack, led by Banbury’s Haas.

Carlos Sainz crashed out of the previous race, at Silverstone earlier this month.

But the Spaniard is relishing the prospect of new elements being introduced to his car at the German Grand Prix, which is back on the calendar after a two-year absence.

He said: “I’m happy to be back racing in Germany.

“I’m especially looking forward to it as we have a few updates there – including a new front wing – to help us get back on the pace we showed at the beginning of the year.

“Hockenheim is a track I’ve won at in the past, so it’s one I’m looking ahead to.

“It’s Nico (Hulkenberg)’s home race too, so that’ll be special for him – like for me in Spain – and that will help us both push hard on track all weekend.”

Hulkenberg moved up to seventh in the drivers’ standings with a sixth-placed finish at the British Grand Prix a fortnight ago.

And the chance to race in front of his home fans only adds to his confidence.

He said: “It’s very special to have the German Grand Prix back on the calendar.

“A home race is extremely motivating, as you carry that extra ounce of determination to do well in front of the home fans.

“We missed it last season, but now it’s back at Hockenheim, we’ll really enjoy every moment throughout the weekend.”