(Renault Sport F1)
Renault Sport F1 head into the opening race of the 2015 Formula One season having had a far more successful winter test period compared to last year.
Following a disappointing start to last season the Renault Sport powered Infiniti Red Bull Racing team finished the season in second place in the Constructors championship with Daniel Ricciardo the only non-Mercedes driver to have won a Grand Prix with the Australian taking victories in Canada, Hungary and Belgium.
Speaking about the Australian Grand Prix Renault Sport F1 Director Of Operations Remii Taffin stated:
'We go to Melbourne in an optimistic frame of mind. We had very aggressive development and sensible performance targets for the winter and every solution explored so far has been track tested and validated. We have made significant changes to the control systems and hardware, particularly the turbo and ICE. This means that the reliability is improved and the driveability is getting better.
We can still progress in this area and we’ve got enough flexibility to move forward with a solid plan of development. Equally we have some tokens in hand to give even more performance over the year.
At this point in time we don’t want to make any prognostics about where we are, but when you compare where we were at the last race of 2014 to this race in Australia, we’re better prepared. We don’t want to talk about wins or points, but obviously we’re hopeful of picking up where we left off and keeping that momentum going.
While Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director of Renault Sport F1 stated:
'This year we can genuinely say we are looking forward to the Australian Grand Prix. Last year we went to Melbourne in a very different frame of mind, but in 2015 we are much happier in our own skin. The changes we made over the winter are starting to take root and there is a more confident vibe at Viry. We know that we are the challengers rather than the leaders, but we also know that we have achieved our own objectives over the winter testing.
We set out to make the Power Unit more reliable, which we have done, with over 9,000km covered. We also wanted to improve performance and halve the gap to Mercedes. While it’s more difficult to judge this, our track performance validates our dyno simulations and confirms we are on the right track. We’ve still got a long way to go, but the season is equally long and we’ve still got items up our sleeves to further improve in 2015.'
© Ben Johnston 2015