Renault Sport F1 director of operations Rémi Taffin admits that Viry’s latest power unit specification “did not deliver the expected improvements in performance” at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The French manufacturer spent 11 of its 12 allocated development tokens to enhance its Renault Energy F1-2015 and made it available as early as last month’s USGP.
Red Bull finally took up the offer at Interlagos and ran the updated engine on Daniel Ricciardo’s car with an eye cast towards 2016, as Milton Keynes still looks to secure a fresh power unit deal. Despite expecting only a marginal gain from the evolution, the Australian remained quite unimpressed after he failed to outqualify team-mate Daniil Kvyat who was running the older spec.
Following a 10-place grid penalty for using the revised engine, Ricciardo’s race was “not the most exciting”, with the 26-year-old eventually finishing just outside the points-paying positions.
“We tried out the new ICE [internal combustion engine] upgrades in Ricciardo’s car,” Taffin said. “The engine ran reliably, but unfortunately it did not deliver the expected improvements in performance.
“All the same, the reliable running ensured we gathered a lot of data to analyse how we can move forward to the final race of the year and going into the winter.”
RSF1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul came to the same conclusion.
“We’ve had a solid but unspectacular Grand Prix,” he said. “We debuted the upgraded ICE with Daniel [Ricciardo], knowing that we would have to take a heavy grid penalty for relatively minimal performance gains.
“It was crucial, however, for us to do this to gather as much information as possible for the next stage in our development plans.
“The upgrade ran reliably but we must now look at the data accumulated from the weekend to establish its full performance potential, and adjust our development strategy accordingly.”
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