All the teams running the French manufacturer’s V6 Turbo power-unit struggled for reliability during winter testing. The lack of mileage has meant Red Bull Racing, Lotus, Toro Rosso and Caterham head to Melbourne on the back foot and with plenty of catching up to do.
Renault Sport F1’s head of trackside operations Rémi Taffin admits there is still plenty of work to do but is pleased with the progress made since the last test in Bahrain.
“With this being the first race, our weekend plan will be flexible as we continue to learn about the Power Unit,” he said. “Our main goal will be to allow the teams to run as much as possible with the maximum amount of power and driveability.
“We still have a lot to learn, but we have covered an entire race weekend with our teams, which has given us a lot of information on how to approach qualifying and the race. We don’t hide the fact it is not going to be easy, but we are on course with our recovery plan and Melbourne will be the next stage in this.”
He added: “Melbourne has always been a very tough circuit for Formula 1 cars, but this year the challenge will be even greater with the new Power Units making their race debut. Some of the main features of Albert Park will pose the biggest challenges: the tight corners and the short bursts of acceleration.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic