Renault Sport F1 director of operations Remi Taffin says the power unit manufacturer's update which it introduced late in the season was "a tiny spec of 2016".
After a frustrating season fighting reliability issues, Renault finally introduced an updated power unit at the Brazilian Grand Prix for Red Bull to run. The update only ran on Daniel Ricciardo's car and was seen as slower than the original being run by Daniil Kvyat, but Taffin says it carried very little 2016 technology and helped define Renault's future plans.
"Rather than performance for 2015, when we knew that the 2015 power unit was reliable and driveable, we tried to introduce steps for 2016, or to test concepts to get as much information as we could," Taffin said. "By mid-season we were in the throes of the 2016 PU development and we had the opportunity to introduce the Spec D PU at the end of the year.
"It was a tiny spec of 2016, but even though it was just a small step, it was important to use it and to gather information and see if we were on the right track. We were impatient to see if what we found was correct. It was a step backward in some respects and the gain was not so significant, but it was necessary to go forward."
Red Bull will continue to run Renault power units in 2016 but will badge them as Tag Heuer engines, while Renault itself focuses on a return as a constructor after agreeing to take over the Lotus team.
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