Renault “behind schedule” but confident Jerez issues are solved
The French supplier suffered a nightmare start to the new F1 era at the first test two weeks ago, with the three Renault customers in attendance completing a total of just 151 laps over the course of the four-day event.
Numerous power-unit and ERS problems prevented Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Caterham from completing more running at the Spanish circuit. However, Renault has been working flat-out to solve the issues – with some of the repairs being tested successfully at the Lotus E22 shakedown last week.
Remi Taffin, head of track operations at Renault Sport F1, is optimistic about the progress being made. “We’re still behind schedule, but it’s not a question of months,” he told reporters in a conference call on Friday.
“We are at least where we would have sought to be for the first test, so maybe now we are three weeks behind, and now we are on a recovery plan. We’re now going to go into Bahrain with what we would have liked to have finished the first test with.
“As for our rivals, let’s put it this way, they are probably four days ahead of us as they had a proper test in Jerez, and we didn’t.”
He is hopeful that the four Renault-powered teams will experience a more trouble-free test in Bahrain next week. “With regard to the hardware we are now confident the problem we had in the first test has been solved and we will be in a position to go out in Bahrain without all these issues,” he said.
“As for the software we’ve improved our level. We’re still behind our initial schedule, but now beyond what we would have done in the first test. Again we should be okay in Bahrain to go out on the first day with a car that should be working.
“We are ready to do what we would have liked to have done in the first test, which is to properly test the power unit and give our customers a way to discover their cars.”
He added: “If the work we have done recently is okay, which we think it is, then we should see the difference in Bahrain, with cars out on track, which will mean we have solved the problem.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic
Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport and Formula 1 journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his F1 paddock debut for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle, RumbleStripNews, Formula1Blog, PureF1 and F1 Plus, as well as running a popular blog.