Renault Sport F1: We still have some way to go to catch the performance of the fastest cars

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Renault Sport F1 report from the Malaysian Grand Prix, Round 2 of the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship, at Sepang International Circuit:

  • Sebastian Vettel (Infiniti Red Bull Racing) finishes on podium in Malaysian Grand Prix.
  • Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat scores second consecutive points in 10th overall.
  • Lotus F1 Team achieves first race finish, with Romain Grosjean 11th.
  • Caterham F1 Team secures double finish.

Team-by-team:

Infiniti Red Bull Racing;

Sebastian Vettel claimed his first podium of the year, finishing third behind the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Vettel fell back to fourth at the start behind Rosberg and team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, but forged past into third on lap 4. Running a three stop strategy he finished 7 secs behind Rosberg. Ricciardo looked set for a solid fourth but retired in the closing stages of the race. The Australian came in for his final pit stop but a problem with the front left wheel delayed him. When he rejoined the track a front wing failure necessitated another stop. After losing so much time he stopped definitively on lap 52.

Scuderia Toro Rosso;

Russian rookie Daniil Kvyat finished in tenth position, his second consecutive points’ finish. Unfortunately Jean-Eric Vergne had a more difficult race. The Frenchman dropped to the rear of the field after the high ambient temperatures triggered a loss of power at the start, but the issue was rectified. Later on in the race a leak in the intake to the turbo saw another loss of power and Vergne retired on lap 20.

Lotus F1 Team;

Romain Grosjean secured the team’s first finish of the year, at the Malaysian Grand Prix. After showing progress throughout the weekend Romain fought from 16th on the grid to 11th overall, keeping Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen at bay in the closing laps. Pastor Maldonado retired when the team detected an issue around the intake to the turbo. To prevent damage to the Power Unit, he stopped in the garage on lap 7.

Caterham F1 Team;

The Anglo Malaysian team put in a strong performance at their home track, with Kamui Kobayashi finishing 13th and Marcus Ericsson 14th from the back of the grid, the first double finish of the year. The result also moves Caterham to 10th in the constructors’ championship.

Rémi Taffin, Head of Track Operations: “Finishing on the podium and another car in the top ten, shows we are making good steps with the reliability of the Power Unit. We still have some way to go to catch the performance of the fastest cars. However, having a reliable platform means that 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 were 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.”

“It is good to see Lotus back with Romain and to gather more information to feed back into the programme. 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. We now need to go back to the dyno, recreate the issues, test out solutions and prevent them from happening again.”

“Well done also to Caterham, who leave with a double [car] finish and were racing other teams. This is a step forward for the partnership and one that bodes well for Bahrain.”

“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.”

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