Spanish GP: Preview - Renault


Remi Taffin, Renault Sport F1 head of track operations: The Spanish Grand Prix will be the second stage of the performance evolutions we kick-started in China. While there are not many visible hardware upgrades, there are significant improvements to the software that should further enhance driveability and therefore overall performance. Yet again we have also moved forward in energy management and efficiency so we are hopeful our upward trend will continue in Barcelona.

The circuit itself is one of the medium demand tracks. Despite not visiting the track this year in testing it is primarily straightforward to prepare and we don't expect any surprises. With three weeks between China and Spain we've made a huge amount of progress and in fact this race may well show that the 'engine race' is a lot closer since it is much more representative of the average characteristics of the majority of tracks in the next part of the season.

It is relatively easy to recover energy in Barcelona, thanks to the tight corners such as Turn 10 and the chicane where the driver will brake heavily. Both will give the MGU-K a chance to recharge while the long pit straight allows the MGU-H not to drain the battery fully. With a variety of different speed corners fuel consumption isn't expected to be a major problem here.
The key areas to performance are instead good PU response in the quick corners such as Turn 3 and Turn 8 while retaining good rear stability under braking and the downshifts in the slower corners such as Turn 10.

We have worked hard on these areas in the past three weeks and we therefore go to Spain more confident of a good performance.

Renault Energy F1-2014 Fast Facts:

Barcelona will be the first circuit with any significant altitude changes, particularly through the first sector. This impacts engine mapping for acceleration, which will have to take account of the rises and falls. Although not as relevant as Spa or Austria, it will permit the teams to gather valuable data.

It is likely that we will see more Friday running in Barcelona as we have not tested at the track this year. With a raft of upgrades scheduled for this race, the teams will need to validate improvements.

The 1km pit straight should see speeds peak over 300kph. Having a good speed onto the straight from the final corner will further increase the end of speed straight.

The chicane in the third sector is slow and needs the right amount of engine control, not only at the entry of the corner but in the midpoint of the chicane. In fact the driver will just blip the throttle between the entry and the exit of the chicane as he changes direction.

Cooling is not expected to be a major issue in Spain. Temperatures can be hot and occasionally humid but having been subject to hotter temperatures in Bahrain and Malaysia the teams have learned how to control the rising internal pressures.

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Published: 06/05/2014
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