Renault Sport F1 director of operations Rémi Taffin admits that finishing this season without any victory would “hurt”, as this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix represents the last chance for the French manufacturer to get a win in 2015.
Having won three races in 2014, Renault was supposed to further consolidate its recovery in the 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged era but ended up drifting further away from Mercedes and slipping behind Ferrari.
The Viry-based constructor endured an especially torrid start to its campaign, as poor reliability plagued Red Bull and Toro Rosso and led to a rapid and spectacular deterioration in the relationship with the energy drinks giant.
“After a long season we reach the final race of the year in Abu Dhabi,” Taffin said. “By our own standards it’s not been as successful as we could have hoped and it will hurt if we finish the year without a win. But we have learnt a lot and there are also some strong steps forward that will consolidate us in future.
“After a shaky start to the year we have consolidated reliability and each part is much more robust than in the last year. Performance wise we are also closer to the competition and know that in some circumstances we are able to challenge for the podium.
“Naturally challenging for wins is the next step in our recovery and the information learnt this year will help us get closer to achieving this aim.”
Should the French engine supplier fail to secure victory at Yas Marina Circuit, it would be its first winless campaign since 2007. Despite signing a Lotus takeover letter of intent two months ago, Renault has yet to make any official announcement regarding its return as a works outfit next year.
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