Renault Sport F1: We still have a gap to the Mercedes in front

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel fastest of the Renault brigade on Friday

Renault Sport F1  report from day one of free practice at the Canadian Grand Prix, Round 7 of the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship, at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on IleNotre Dame in Montreal.

Key practice points :

  • FIA Formula One World Championship makes first of two annual stops in North America for Canadian Grand Prix
  • Two 90 minute practice sessions get track action underway
  • Next stage of upgrades to Renault Energy F1 evaluated over the day
  • Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel highest-classified Renault-powered car with third in FP2
  • Tough opening day for other Renault-powered cars on high-speed Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve

Rémi Taffin, head of track operations :

“There are a number of tweaks we can make and we’ll look at the larger picture for qualifying and try to maximize the chances for Sunday’s race.’

“Today was a difficult day as predicted. We knew that the long straights would give us some headaches since the long periods of full throttle and emphasis on top speed do not play to the strengths of our Power Unit. We still have a gap to the Mercedes in front and we can see by the times that we are struggling for overall performance in this low downforce configuration.

“We have however been able to get a lot of information on fuel consumption. The race may demand more than the 100kg permitted fuel limit so making the best use of the recovered energy will be important in the race. We think we’ve got a good handle on it and will look to maximize this area to reduce the gap to the cars in front on Sunday.

“There are also a number of performance tweaks we can make tonight. Although we probably can’t overhaul everyone there are areas for improvement that should see us move further up the order.

“Unfortunately we also have a few reliability issues to correct, particularly with Toro Rosso. We experienced a battery problem with JEV’s car in the morning and then we will have to change Daniil’s PU. Despite the issues we have collected a lot of information and now it’s just a question of studying everything to come back stronger tomorrow.”