Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Renault Sport F1 2014 season review

(Renault Sport F1)

Renault Sport F1 had an extremely challenging start to the 2014 Formula One season after all of their teams suffered problems with the 1.6 litre V6 turbo charged power unit. However one the opening race of the season came around Infiniti Red Bull Racing's Daniel Ricciardo showed that the Renault power unit was up to speed as the Australian finished the opening race of the season in Melbourne in second place although he was ultimately disqualified from the race following a fuel infringement. 

At the second race of the season, Renault secured their first podium finish of the season as Sebastian Vettel finished the Malaysian Grand Prix in third place for the Infiniti Red Bull acing Team. It was a great start to the Formula One season for rookie driver Daniil Kvyat as the Russian scored two points on his Formula One debut for the Renault powered Scuderia Toro Rosso team as he finished the Australian Grand Prix in ninth place. He followed this result up with a 10th place finish at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

    (Renault Sport F1)

In Bahrain, Daniel Ricciardo secured his best result since joining Infiniti Red Bull Racing as he finished the race in fourth place just behind the Sahara Force India's Sergio Perez. At the Chinese Grand Prix Infiniti Red Bull Racing Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel finished the race in fourth and fifth place respectively while Daniil Kvyat picked up another point finishing the race in 10th place.

Speaking about their season Renault Sport F1 Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul stated:

'We’ve had a baptism of fire this year. F1 set itself incredibly high standards with the new engine regulations. We endured a difficult testing period and first few races, but it’s a testament to the sport, and the people who dedicate their lives to it, that all its engine manufacturers managed to deliver technologies compliant with the regulations and standards required by Formula One. No one would have expected such a level of competitiveness after pre-season testing.'

At the Spanish Grand Prix in May Daniel Ricciardo achieved his first ever podium in Formula One as he finished the race in third place. The Australian followed this up with another third place finish at the Monaco Grand Prix. 

The Australian went on to take his first Formula One victory at the Canadian Grand Prix where he finished the race just ahead of Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team's Nico Rosberg while his team mate Sebastian Vettel finished the race in third place. 

(Renault Sport F1)

Ricciardo went on to take two further victories in 2014 at the Hungarian and Belgian Grand Prix. Abiteboul went on to say: 

'As far as we are concerned, everyone at Viry and our partners – technical and teams – put a huge amount of effort into taking such important strides over a short period of time. We reassessed our goals and made a series of tweaks to gradually regain the reliability and performance we expect of ourselves. Three wins and so many points are the result of our non-stop hard work.'

He went on to say that he could pin point the extent of the company's improvement in performance over the course of the season saying:

'Highlighting one single element as the source of our improvement would be impossible. Instead, it’s the development of multiple parts that has resulted in a much-improved PU to the one that began pre-season testing last January.'

Components have been modified to make them more robust; chassis teams have learnt a great deal about integration and cooling; engine and energy management control advances have enhanced driveability and efficiency; and the ‘knocking’ sensation caused by cylinder pressure has been neutralised thanks to the help of our official fuel partner, Total. Together, these elements have undoubtedly impacted on results.'

The Lotus F1 Team endured an extremely difficult 2014 Formula One season following an extremely successful campaign in 2013. The Enstone outfit scored just 10 points in 2014 compared to 315 points last season.

(Renault Sport F1)

Abiteboul concluded by saying:

'It’s true that second in the constructors’ championship is not our usual target, but the result demonstrates that we never stopped pushing hard and constantly improved. Obviously we have a huge job list ahead of next season, but also a clear direction and focus, as well as the determination to challenge for more wins in 2015. Mercedes has set the bar extremely high, most notably in terms of how their Power Unit and chassis teams have seamlessly worked together. 

We would like to congratulate them on a job well done, no doubt the result of years of determination and hard work at Brackley and Brixworth. We also wish to extend our thanks to our partner Total. Their relentless efforts in developing fuels and lubricants contributed to our overall performance this season. We are extremely motivated by the prospect of another season of competition, just as we are determined that the Energy F1 should join the illustrious list of title-winning Renault engines.'

© Ben Johnston 2014

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