Renault Sport F1’s Director of Operations Remi Taffin has admitted that the new power unit has failed to deliver the performance improvement his squad was expecting in Brazil.
After repeated delays, Renault employed the upgraded power unit on the back of Daniel Ricciardo’s car at Interlagos. Although the French manufacturer had used majority of its tokens on this upgrade, Red Bull were quick to downplay its significance, saying they were only expecting marginal improvements to the tune of two tenths of a second.
But as it turned out, the new power unit made no noticeable difference to the performance of the Red Bull RB11. Ricciardo started the race from the back of the grid following the penalty for the aforesaid engine change, and could only climb his way to 12th place at the chequered flag.
”From a technical standpoint, we tried out the new ICE upgrades in Daniel Ricciardo’s car. The engine ran reliably, but unfortunately it did not deliver the expected improvements in performance,’’ Taffin admitted. “All the same, the reliable running ensured we gathered a lot of data to analyse how we can move forward to the final race of the year and going into the winter.”
Renault’s MD Cyril Abiteboul added that it was crucial for the manufacturer to evaluate the new power unit on track to better prepare itself for the coming year, when it is expected to oversize its operations into a works team.
“It was crucial, however, for us to do this to gather as much information as possible for the next stage in our development plans. The upgrade ran reliably but we must now look at the data accumulated from the weekend to establish its full performance potential, and adjust our development strategy accordingly,’’ Abiteboul said.
by Rachit Thukral