• Development of the new Renault Energy-F1 2015 continues during the first of two tests at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain.
  • Renault satisfied with more than 3,800 kilometres covered over the four days, including several grand prix simulations and extensive work focusing on the Power Unit’s reliability and driveability.
  • Near-Melbourne Power Unit specification benefits Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso.

Renault Sport F1’s preparations for the upcoming Formula 1 season accelerated further this past week at the second pre-season test session.

After experiencing difficulties at Jerez, two objectives were outlined ahead of this winter’s first visit to Barcelona : to overcome the small issues encountered in Andalucia, and rack up as much mileage as possible in pursuit of further improving the Power Unit’s reliability.

And despite some minor teething problems on the opening morning, those expectations were largely fulfilled. Indeed, Renault Sport F1’s partner teams – Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso – successfully followed their test schedules as planned and also benefitted from a more reliable and driveable Renault Energy-F1 2015.

All Renault-powered drivers undertook race simulations and completed considerable stints en route to an impressive combined distance of 3,800 kilometres, or more than 12 grands prix. What’s more, Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso were both testing a Power Unit specification much closer to the one they will use at Australia’s season opener in three weeks.

Renault Sport F1 is committed to both maintaining this positive trend and making further progress at the third official 2015 test, which once again takes place at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in just a few days. On the menu is a renewed emphasis on increasing mileage, supplying a Power Unit that’s even more finely tuned in an effort to further improve lap times, and to optimise settings for Melbourne.

Rémi Taffin, Director of Operations :

“We’re satisfied with the first test at Barcelona where, programme-wise, we were able to tick all the boxes for Red Bull and Toro Rosso. All four drivers have already completed an entire grand prix weekend’s distance each, including practice, qualifying, a race simulation and procedures.

“So from a technical standpoint we’re ready for Melbourne ; everything has been checked. But we’re still not producing the level of performance that we’d like to. That’s something we’ll be focusing on at the final round of official testing this week, but at least we’re starting from a solid base.

“We’ve continued to shake down parts for Melbourne but are still missing some components and software that would allow us to fully optimise the Power Unit.

“So far we have pushed the ERS to its limits, but also focused our efforts around the internal combustion engine and turbo. It’s for those last two elements that we’re awaiting the newly developed components and software.

“Finally, we were aware that some driveability issues might exist on the opening morning as it’s an area we weren’t previously able to explore. We ended up doing it ‘live’ simultaneously in Barcelona and at the factory, which help to push the limits further.”

Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director :

“Our main objective in Barcelona, which was outlined and shared with our partners, was to accumulate as many kilometres as possible in order to continue improving reliability. Without a single major issue for either team it’s an area that we’re completely satisfied with.

“Equally, the test validated a certain number of measures implemented since Jerez, which have proven conclusive. On a human level it’s also been satisfying to see our technical staff working ever more closely with our partner teams. The results have been very positive.

“Regarding performance, of course it’s still a bit early to make a proper judgement as it’s always relative and we don’t know what the competition is doing. On our side, we didn’t spend the test chasing lap times. Such aggressive and uncompromising development programmes, both in terms of chassis and the Power Unit, as well as new parts arriving at the last minute, also make it difficult to draw conclusions.

“Saying that, we’re still confident of achieving our target : reducing our Power Unit deficit to Mercedes by half for the first grand prix. Our reinforced partnership with Red Bull is also moving in the right direction, and the overall situation looks encouraging.”

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