Renault: The problems are worse from the outside than they are from the inside

Remi Taffin

Remi Taffin

Renault reacted to reports of an early season crisis with the all new V6 turbo engine by playing down the seriousness of the situation.

After Renault-powered teams struggled just to complete deent numbers of laps at the Jerez test recently, former Formula 1 team boss Gian Carlo Minardi this week repeated reports that World Champions Red Bull may be looking for a new supplier of turbo V6 engines.

Minardi also wrote that he has also heard that Renault is looking beyond the walls of its Viry factory and “shopping” for technical fixes.

“This news can only feed suspicions of structural problems in the engine that are not easy to solve in the short term,” he said.

Toro Rosso during Jerez testing

Toro Rosso during Jerez testing

However, addressing the media on Friday, Renault’s Engineering Chief Remi Taffin said that the speculation about the French marque’s problems is overblown.

“The problems are worse from the outside than they are from the inside,” he said. “It’s a difficult moment but we will get through this.”

It was believed Renault had come some way in fixing the problems encountered at Jerez, when Lotus debuted its new E22 without trouble just a week ago.

However, it subsequently emerged that a ‘filming’ day at Misano for the similarly Renault-powered Toro Rosso did not go so well.

Caterham during Jerez testing

Caterham during Jerez testing

Taffin said the Toro Rosso issues were “not a surprise – we knew what we had in the car and we thought we would get away with it, but obviously not”.

The Frenchman said that the major problems at Jerez were hardware and software related, and that he is confident that Renault will arrive for next week’s testing in Bahrain “without all these issues”.

Still, there is no guarantee, as he said that Renault is still working on the software problems.

“We are trying do everything at the same time, but then sometimes we have to prioritise so it’s not easy to have everything altogether at once,” said Taffin.

Red Bull during Jerez testing

Red Bull fail during Jerez testing

While admitting that Renault is obviously behind schedule, he denied that it will take “months” to catch up, insisting that all the actual parts of the Power Unit are sound.

“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,” said Taffin.

In the meantime, World Champion Sebastian Vettel on Friday seemed to acknowledge that amid Renault’s problems, Formula 1’s Mercedes-powered cars appear to have the upper hand for now.

“All the Mercedes powered cars looked very strong at Jerez,” the German told Sport Bild magazine.

“But that is no surprise, as we have known for some time how much time and effort Mercedes has invested in the new power train,” added Vettel. (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

Content on by: staff & contributors, Reuters syndication, GMM service, Getty Images, Formula 1 teams, sponsors & organisations.

  • BK201

    Minardi is the same nutcase who was claiming that RB were using traction control last season. I wouldn’t be surprised if RB switched powerplants in 2015, maybe to Honda, but I’d like to hear it from a credible source and Minardi just isn’t one.

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  • =El Presidente=

    these kind of reports always make me think that there is more than meets the eye.. i think Renault will surely bounce back, and maybe already have a (partial) solution/fix for the problem, cant wait for next week!

  • KevinW

    Red Bull are not switching to Honda any time in the near future. McLaren have an exclusive deal there for an undisclosed period, so that speculation is rubbish. The gas flowing out of Minardi’s bum is just that, and like other noises coming from his outspoken orifice, meaningless emissions, with a bit of splatter and some stink pointed once again at Red Bull. It seems to make him feel better, leaves a stain in his panties, and gets the press all lathered up and giggling like school boys. Renault will be ready for Australia, which is all that counts. Whether they prove to be the power source of choice in 2014 will only be known at the double points extravaganza season ender. In the meantime, I am sure Minardi will ask the press to pull his finger at least a couple more times, to which they will giggle and spew milk out their noses in glee.

  • TheDudeson

    I am one of those who believe GP247 has been harsh towards Lotus and Renault in the reporting, but reading between the lines here – maybe they are not wrong because there are problems
    The reason I now do not go Autosport first for F1 news is because they are no digging into the big stories I think they are afraid to do so for they might lose connections and even advertising – but smaller guys with little to lose are more aggressive in finding the truth in stories
    Bahrain is going to be very interesting – I will be watching very closely and I am sure we all will be 😉

  • Tamburello1994

    Excellent post. I totally agree with this.

    I also noticed the back and forth going on between various camps and simply chalked it up to petty rivalries. As they say “can’t see the forest for the trees….” That’s all me on this one. Very clever how Gp247 is willing to shake the trees or ruffle some feathers at times to get at the truth. That totally flew over my head in this particular instance and I feel a little silly about it now. I support a free press and when you become fans of the very people you’re covering, its difficult, if not impossible to remain objective. I guess this is what they do at Autosport I keep hearing about (?)