Renault edging closer to limit of new engine
15 April 2014 – Renault has explained that it will be running its new turbocharged power unit "closer to the limits" at this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix, as it continues to gradually cut the gap to its engine rivals.
After a troublesome pre-season testing period, during which just one of Renault's supplied teams completed a race simulation, the French manufacturer has been racing below optimal levels to boost reliability.
However, during last week's post-Bahrain Grand Prix test, Renault-powered outfits successfully trialled fresh software settings, leaving brand chiefs confident of another step forward at the Shanghai International Circuit.
"At the test in Bahrain we tested several new software modes that will see us closer to the limits of the Power Unit than before," said Rémi Taffin, Renault Sport F1 head of track operations. "In the past three races we have been some way from the edge of the performance envelope but these new modes should see us running more to the extreme. The drivers should feel improved driveability and it should also give us greater life from each part.
"Likewise we have been working on energy management per lap, particularly in the slow corners. We know we are missing out on the straights but these steps have given us greater traction in the turns, which should extend tyre life and give greater flexibility on strategies. The greater part of our work has been concentrated on race modes and performance as this is where we believe the bigger steps can be taken, rather than in qualifying."
Taffin summarised: "All of these improvements should put us a bit closer to the front in China."