Bahrain will not play to Renault's strengths


A quick glimpse at the power unit elements usage ahead of this weekend's race reveals that the Renault-powered team have had a torrid start to the year, with Ricciardo already on his third internal combustion engine, while teammate Daniil Kvyat and Toro Rosso drivers Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz have used two of their various components.

Sadly, ahead of the fourth race of the season, Renault is unable to offer any short-term hope.

"The Bahrain circuit is relatively similar to Shanghai with extended periods of wide open throttle and long straights," said director of operations Remi Taffin. "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 analysing the issues from China," he added. "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."

"We have made some real progress since Australia with regards performance and driveability," added Cyril Abiteboul, "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."

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Published: 16/04/2015
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