Five of the eight cars powered by its V6 Turbo managed to finish the second round of the 2014 season in Malaysia, with two of the three retirements being caused by mechanical problems.
Jean-Eric Vergne exited the 56-lap race due to high temperatures and an air leak around the turbo. Meanwhile Pastor Maldonado was told to retire his Lotus E22 on lap seven after a problem linked to the turbo air intake. However, the Venezuelan driver’s issue during the race did not damage the rest of the power-unit.
Despite the issues, further steps forward were made in Malaysia and Rémi Taffin, head of track operations, said Renault now heads to the third race of the year in Bahrain with a considerably shorter list of improvements that need to be made.
“Finishing on the podium and another car in the top ten, shows we are making good steps with the reliability of the power unit,” he said. “We still have some way to go to catch the performance of the fastest cars, however having a reliable platform means we can now look at other enhancements for future races.
“Across the teams some car issues have led to PU problems, namely with Vergne and Maldonado. Vergne’s was related to the high temperatures, which we knew was a potential risk, and then an air leak around the turbo. It is a shame as there was the potential for another double points finish. Maldonado’s car had a problem linked to the air intake to the turbo, but the issue was contained, causing no further damage to the unit. ”
He added: “Overall, the positive is that, unlike Melbourne we don’t go to the next race with a substantial job list of rectifications, rather items that will deliver more power and performance in Bahrain.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic