Renault expecting 'anxious' Melbourne weekend

By on Monday, March 3, 2014
Lotus F1 Team

Lotus F1 Team

Renault's deputy managing director (technical) Rob White says that the French company is anticipating an 'anxious' opening round to the 2014 season.

Renault's four customer teams - Red Bull, Lotus, Toro Rosso and Caterham - have endured a difficult time during pre-season testing and did not once top the time sheets at the end of the day.

All four teams also encountered several reliability issues with the Renault power unit, and did not complete as much running as rivals Mercedes and Ferrari.

"The aim of the last test session before Australia was to recover some of the lost ground from the previous test sessions and to rehearse the Grand Prix," said White.

"We wanted each of our four teams to be able to approach a normal race weekend without having to improvise any of the procedures or operations needed. We can’t escape the fact that we did not complete the entire programme with all the teams and that some Melbourne preparations are incomplete.

"On the up-side, we have done some of everything, with simulations of qualifying sessions, starts, race distances and long stints and it is fair to say that once again we have made some real progress.

"We have cured or found workarounds for some of the problems we had previously identified. New problems revealed as we ran more have added to the unsolved items, and have disrupted running, which is disappointing for our teams."

White believes a large part of Renault's issues are minor problems becoming major.

"In terms of down-time, we see that minor incidents can veer off into major ones and cause significant downtime. This is an example of the immaturity of our power unit; we do not have all of the fail-safe and limp-home modes we would consider normal in this stage. This contributes to the loss of track time when a small issue does occur. As we go forward we expect to be able to take these things in our stride rather than have a major failure as a result of minor problem.

"When running, this immaturity makes itself known as shortcomings in torque delivery or ‘drivability’, which make it tricky for the drivers to find the performance limit of the car.

"Melbourne will be an anxious weekend! Conducting a normal race weekend, in which both cars run well during each session for every team, would be a great relief."


If you liked this post then share it with your friends on social media websites. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with the latest F1 news.

On this day
  • Jacky Ickx won the 1970 Mexican Grand Prix.
  • Dan Gurney won the 1964 Mexican Grand Prix.
  • Riccardo Patrese won the 1992 Japanese Grand Prix.