Since the first Formula 1 test of the 2014 season Renault have been playing catch-up with their v6 turbo power unit which has not been a match to Mercedes, but the French manufacturer’s head of trackside operations Remi Taffin is confident that the upward trend will continue in Spain.
Speaking ahead of the weekend in Barcelona, Taffin said, “The Spanish Grand Prix will be the second stage of the performance evolutions we kick-started in China.”
“While there are not many visible hardware upgrades, there are significant improvements to the software that should further enhance driveability and therefore overall performance. Yet again we have also moved forward in energy management and efficiency so we are hopeful our upward trend will continue in Barcelona.”
Circuit de Catalunya shuld provide a clearer indication of the exact pecking order, and the Frenchman expects the gap between the power units to be less than at the four flyaway races.”
“Despite not visiting the track this year in testing it is primarily straightforward to prepare and we don’t expect any surprises. With three weeks between China and Spain we’ve made a huge amount of progress and in fact this race may well show that the ‘engine race’ is a lot closer since it is much more representative of the average characteristics of the majority of tracks in the next part of the season,” predicts Taffin.
“It is relatively easy to recover energy in Barcelona, thanks to the tight corners such as Turn 10 and the chicane where the driver will brake heavily. Both will give the MGU-K a chance to recharge while the long pit straight allows the MGU-H not to drain the battery fully. With a variety of different speed corners fuel consumption isn’t expected to be a major problem here,” explained Taffin.
“The key areas to performance are instead good PU response in the quick corners such as Turn 3 and Turn 8 while retaining good rear stability under braking and the downshifts in the slower corners such as Turn 10.”
“We have worked hard on these areas in the past three weeks and we therefore go to Spain more confident of a good performance,” concluded Taffin. (GP247)