Thursday, 16 April 2015

Renault Sport F1 Bahrain Grand Prix Preview

(Renault Sport F1)

Renault Sport F1 head to the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend having secured just one points scoring finish last out in China where Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo finished the race in ninth place.

Daniil Kvyat suffered a technical issue that forced the Russian to retire from the race while Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen retired from the race with just two laps to go after a power unit failure on the main straight of the Shanghai International Circuit. Carlos Sainz was left disappointed as the Spaniard finished the race in 13th place one lap down.

Despite their disappointing start to the season, Renault Sport F1 feel that they have made progress since the start of the 2015 season in Melbourne, Australia last month. Speaking ahead of this weekend’s race Renault Sport F1’s Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul stated:

We have made some real progress since Australia with regards performance and driveability and it’s frustrating that the reliability issues of Shanghai threw a cover over these. We don’t take the issues we have seen lightly, but we have taken genuine steps forward and need to focus on our continuing programme of improvements while addressing the reliability concerns in parallel. In the short time since the Chinese Grand Prix we have been checking and rechecking systems and procedures to implement fixes for the next race in Bahrain. Due to logistics of the back to back races a complete guarantee will be difficult but we have made improvements to prevent the race stoppers we saw in China. Our motivation is as high as ever.

 Renault Sport F1’s Director of Operations Remi Taffin stated:

The Bahrain International Circuit is relatively similar to Shanghai with extended periods of wide open throttle and long straights. We go there knowing it may not play to our strengths, but there are still opportunities to take the fight to the front of the field. Our Power Unit has moved forward in driveability and although there is still some room to play with, this should pay off in the twisty back section and under braking at the end of the straights.

As well as optimizing performance, a significant part of our preparations for this race have been and continues to be analyzing the issues from China. As a consequence, we will have to make some late calls. We now know that the failures on Kvyat and Verstappen’s ICEs are different and unfortunately one of them was known but built in when then ICE was introduced early on. The other is still to be fully explained and temporary fixes will be used in Sakhir.

Infiniti Red Bull Racing head to the Chinese Grand Prix in fifth place in the championship on 13 points, one point ahead of Scuderia Toro Rosso in sixth place.

© Ben Johnston 2015

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