(Renault Sport F1)
The 2015 Formula One season sees Renault Sport F1 reduce their involvement in the sport from supplying four teams to now supplying just Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso.
Over the course of the first four day test in Jerez, Renault completed over 2,400KM of running and met the majority of their goals that they set out for the test. The running completed in Jerez this week gives the French manufacturer a great platform ahead of the next test in Barcelona in two weeks’ time.
The data that has been compiled will help them in the development of their power unit. Speaking following the opening test Renault Sport F1’s director of operations Remi Taffin stated:
'We’ve wiped the slate clean this year and have new, aggressive targets. This week was the first step and we have hit nearly all the objectives we set ourselves.
The primary goals were to fully integrate the power unit into our partners’ chassis, eliminate the gremlins and then run as much as possible. We covered more than 2,400km over the two teams, which we can be relatively satisfied with at this stage. The Toro Rosso has been running particularly well and is representative of the mileage we need to achieve this season.
There have been some teething troubles, which have arisen largely because we have been so uncompromising with our aims over the winter. The energy store in particular was being run as aggressively as we could, but we need to explore the limits of the parts in Barcelona to know how far we can push them.
Likewise, a water pump issue was due to a relatively young part we tested on track rather than running extensively in the dyno – we are conscious that we need to pull out all the stops. We have learnt a lot from the running and have now put in place measures to prevent any further problems of this nature going forward.
We have also had the opportunity to run our new trackside structure. This year we will have one extra person, with a track support leader overseeing engine performance rather than running one driver. It has made things easier and gives us the liberty to investigate other areas for performance.
With our targets generally hit, we can look forward to the next test in Barcelona. We want to move more to the performance aspect of the power unit in this test and run in a specification closer to that we will run in Melbourne, of course still keeping a very close eye on reliability.'
Renault Sport F1's managing director Cyril Abiteboul commented stating:
'The test this week has been productive and has confirmed that we have taken the right direction with our development choices. This is reassuring considering the magnitude of the late clarification in regulations with tokens and so on, and how many times we have had to reconsider the various strategic options.
Yes, we have had a couple of problems, but there have not been any nasty surprises. They were largely due to the fact that, taking our inspiration from the F1 teams, we have tried to push every design decision to the last possible moment to gain as much information as we could. Necessarily this means we experienced some issues on track. However all the issues are understood – and some were even anticipated – so we haven’t suffered any setbacks.
It’s impossible to say where we are relative to the competition as others are running different plans, tyre specs, fuel loads, and even to a certain extent car specs etc. but our own performance level is where we expected. We have measured it very precisely in the dyno and it matches what we see on track.
However just as the cars will be changed in Melbourne, our power unit will also be very different in a month. Reliability wise Mercedes are still the head of the table but we have had a positive week with Toro Rosso and will hopefully achieve this with Red Bull next time out.'
© Ben Johnston 2015