Renault Sport F1’s Rob White has conceded that the teams that the French manufacturer powers have not been able to complete an acceptable amount of running at the first pre-season test in Jerez due to a number of problems with the power units.
Renault-powered teams Caterham, Toro Rosso and Red Bull completed just 151 laps in total, compared to 444 for Ferrari and 875 laps for Mercedes engines. The defending world champions suffered a number of failures that prompted the team to pack up early in Jerez, with Christian Horner and Adrian Newey leaving Spain one day early in order to return to Red Bull HQ in Milton Keynes and assess the situation. White (deputy managing director at Renault Sport F1) acknowledged that these problems were simply unacceptable.
“We have not run enough laps, and when we have they have not been run at an acceptable performance level,” he explained. “The underlying causes are not straightforward: there isn’t a single component or system that has caused particular trouble. A number of related things have been troublesome, principally concerning the control and operation of the various sub-systems of the power unit within the car.”
Nevertheless, he is confident that these problems can be resolved in time for the second test in Bahrain, and the minimal data that has been gathered in Jerez will still be useful.
“At this stage every kilometre is hugely valuable,” White said. “We recognise that when the cars have run, they are not running at an acceptable level. We are a long way from the type of operation we had planned and prepared for – largely as a result of the workarounds we have implemented – but all the information is useful.
“In dealing with the issues we have moved further away from the configuration we were comfortable with, which has resulted in the relatively slow times, but the running has given us a vastly greater understanding of the issues we face. We absolutely expect to have a more definitive solution in place for the next session in Bahrain.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic.