Renault: We know what we can achieve for the next race to close the gap to Mercedes


In the aftermath of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, Renault F1 Sport head of track operations Remi Taffin is adamant that the ‘one second gap’ to Mercedes will be closed and that all is in place at Viry-Chatillon to recover from their dismal pre-season.

Taffin said, “It is a fair assessment to say we’re behind Mercedes on the straights. That’s obvious. Saying it is one second is difficult, but it is not one tenth, it’s closer to a second than a tenth or a hundredth. We know how far we are from Mercedes and we know what we can achieve for the next race to close the gap.”

“In the power unit we are running we already have the necessary components to achieve this recovery, it’s just a matter of optimising everything and using everything to the full power. We  have to fix the reliability and fix the way we use all these things together and try to make them work,” explained Taffin.


In pre-season testing Renault powered teams struggled to rack up any meaningful mileage, with Red Bull particularly affected by problems during the 12 days in Jerez and Bahrain.

In Melbourne however, the world champions were starting to look like contenders, with Daniel Ricciardo qualifying on the front row and 24 hours later crossing the line in second place, albeit almost half a minute down on Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes.

Despite the deficit to Mercedes, the performance was a boost for Renault as Taffin pointed out, “It’s like we’ve done four days of testing in one afternoon. We will reflect on that for Sepang and come back better, but all in all I’d say it’s a 50/50, as the number of cars we got to the end of the race.”

He added, “Fifty per cent of them did quite well, but not to the level we expect. We still have a way to go. We can operate our engine but there is a downside obviously with the number of cars we didn’t get to the end due to some problems on our side. But it’s not the sort of problem we cannot fix.” (GP247)

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  • KevinW

    Renault Sport is acting like the computer company who delivers a junk machine that destroys all your data, but is proud they replaced the hardware under warranty. Renault knew what the product that was expected of them, they knew who they were up against, and they knew full well how complex the new formula was. To be this far off the mark, and this damaging to their customers, is disgusting. Sure, they will recover to some degree at some point as the season progresses, while Red Bull, Lotus, STR and Caterham (and their drivers) suffer against opponents supplied by PU producers who obviously took their responsibility more seriously. Meanwhile Renault Sport’s help desk releases another load of malarkey about how its unfortunate about all that lost data, but they are working diligently to replace that hardware as quickly as possible. Clowns.