(Frederic Le Floc'h/ DPPI for Renault Sport F1)
Renault Sport F1 head to this weekend's Grand Prix in Monte Carlo on the back of a strong result for the customers in the last race at the Barcelona Circuit de Catalunya where Infiniti Red Bull Racing's Daniel Ricciardo picked up his first Formula One podium with a third place finish. The Australian managed to finish just ahead of team mate and reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel.
It was a great race for the Lotus F1 Team as Romain Grosjean qualified in fifth place and went on to finish the Grand Prix in eighth place to secure the Enstone outfit's first points of the season.
The Monaco Grand Prix is going to be a completely different kettle of fish for the teams this weekend due to the tight and twisty nature of the of the street circuit. In 2013, Red Bull Racing secured a double podium finish with Sebastian Vettel finishing second behind race winner Nico Rosberg with Mark Webber finishing the race in third place. Kimi Raikkonen finished the race in 10th place.
This season, Renault have struggled in the opening Grand Prix of the season, however, the Spanish Grand Prix was a turning point for the French manufacturer and they are hoping that they will be in a position to challenge for podium's in Monaco.
Renault Sport F1 Head of Track side Operations Remi Taffin said:
'Monaco is one of the few circuits on the calendar where top end power is not critical. Less than 30secs – or less than one quarter of the lap – is spent at full throttle, which places an emphasis on the overall package’s driveability rather than outright performance. That said we should not rely on chassis performance alone for results. We need to concentrate all our efforts on our own task.
Our focus for this race has been targeted to maximizing the responsiveness of the Power Units. We do this by exploring the lower limits of the PU and managing the low torque levels into and out of the slow corners so the driver gets the correct response when he needs it. In fact Monaco is a real driver-led circuit.
Everything we do is geared up to provide the driver with the most positive car we can: he needs to trust the car will do everything he wants, respond when he wants and deliver the torque at exactly the correct time. Key corners will be the Rascasse, where the driver will just kiss the barriers, and the Swimming Pool where the driver needs to get on the brakes and then throttle extremely quickly, with a flick of the steering wheel.
Energy recovery is easy with the amount of braking points – the 19 corners are all taken at an average of less than 100kph and the MGU-K will have more than enough opportunity to recharge.
We go to Monaco determined to deliver a Power Unit that can fight for more than third position. We have yet more software upgrades to introduce following a successful test in Barcelona, which further improved the driveability and reliability of the systems. Likewise we have also been working with our partners, Total, to trial a new fuel that should deliver in the region of 10bhp more than before, a significant increase. While we know we have a tough battle ahead, we’re really up for the challenge.'
Renault powered team's have scored a combined total of 96 point's over the first five Grand Prix of 2014 season.
©Ben Johnston 2014