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Renault progress report: We’re incomplete heading to Melbourne

Mar 3, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

F1 Testing in Bahrain - Day Two Getty Images

Ahead of the second Bahrain test last week, Renault Sport’s F1 deputy managing director Rob White said the engine manufacturer had made some strides but was a little bit behind.

But coming out of the test, White was more dramatic in word choice, going so far as to say there are some preparations for Melbourne in two weeks that are “incomplete.”

“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,” he said, in a Q&A with Formula One’s official website. “We can’t escape the fact that we did not complete the entire program with all the teams and that some Melbourne preparations are incomplete.”

White did admit progress, from various short runs and mock qualifying sessions, but Renault struggled to complete mileage overall throughout the entirety of the 12 days of winter testing. White said the team needs to extract more torque from the powerplant.

January’s Jerez test was more a shakedown than it was a chance to collect full data. The two in Bahrain were better, but not by much.

This all leaves the four Renault-powered teams – Red Bull, Lotus, Toro Rosso and Caterham – with more questions than answers heading into Melbourne in just under two weeks time.

  1. worknman24hours - Mar 4, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    Extract more torque from the powerplant.

    Hmmm, how do you do that without stomping all over the high end horsepower?

    Maybe a variable venturi exhaust system?

    Variable opening duration exhaust valve opening system?

    There are also ways to make the engine fight more at low rpm that makes the engine make more torque as well through using aggressive gearing.

    These engineers have the money to do anything on the plate.

    For Rob White to say this might mean that the Renault engine might be showing some issues at high speed pushing the cars down the track at full downforce.

    What gut wrenching revelation it will be for the drivers running the Renault engines if they run away from the other makes cars just to be run down and passed as their cars top out under aero load way too early.

    The wild thing here is that this exactly how Red Bull won last years title.

    Drive away early, get the gap to stop the drs advantage and keep walking away in the corners.

    Somewhere,Adrian Newey is smiling.

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