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Renault: Some Melbourne preparations incomplete

03 Mar 2014

Renault have admitted that the technical issues that plagued their new power unit in pre-season testing mean that some of its teams are not fully prepared for the opening Grand Prix of the season in Australia.

The French manufacturer, who provide power units for Red Bull, Lotus, Toro Rosso and Caterham, have suffered from both hardware and software problems this winter and that has left them unable to complete scheduled programmes with all of their teams.

“We wanted each of our four teams to be able to approach a normal race weekend without having to improvise any of the procedures or operations needed,” explained Renault Sport F1’s deputy managing director Rob White.

“We can’t escape the fact that we did not complete the entire programme with all the teams and that some Melbourne preparations are incomplete.

“On the up-side, we have done some of everything, with simulations of qualifying sessions, starts, race distances and long stints and it is fair to say that once again we have made some real progress.

“We have cured or found workarounds for some of the problems we had previously identified. New problems that revealed (themselves) as we ran more have added to the unsolved items, and have disrupted running, which is disappointing for our teams.”

Renault completed the fewest miles of any of the three power unit manufacturers in pre-season testing, and, as White admits, that’s left them with a lengthy list of outstanding jobs.

“Between now and Melbourne we have a number of items to cover,” he said. “We need to consolidate all of the lessons learned across all the teams. We need to review all the accumulated data and compare and contrast to get the best out of it so the starting point for all of the Renault-powered cars is as good as it can be.

“Second, we must progress further on the torque delivery of the PU (power unit) felt by the drivers. This will include software and calibration work, with simulator and dyno and validation.”

Although Renault have made substantial progress since the first pre-season test in Spain, including increasing the level of performance at which their power unit can be operated and the way in which energy is managed round the circuit, White admits that Australia will be an ‘anxious’ race for Renault.

“Conducting a normal race weekend, in which both cars run well during each session for every team, would be a great relief,” he said. “I hope we can support our teams and drivers to explore the performance of the car and allow the race to deliver its sporting verdict.”