Renault engine technical director Rémi Taffin says the pressure to perform feels ‘more natural’ within a factory team, as opposed to when it comes from a customer outfit.
Having stepped back to an engine supply role in the wake of the 2008 global economic crisis, the French manufacturer is returning as a fully-fledged Formula One team this year.
Despite powering Red Bull to four championship doubles in 2010-13, recurrent troubles in the latest turbo era have led to a spectacular falling out between the two partners. The energy drinks giant has repeatedly voiced their frustration with Renault, while also rushing Viry into engine developments it was not necessarily ready to take on.
Asked whether the pressure to deliver stronger results was greater now that Renault has its own factory team, Taffin replied:
“We’re always under pressure. [What is important] is about our ability to turn that pressure into very good pressure. We were already under pressure with Red Bull or any other customers, because we had to do things right and be first.
“Now, it’s our own company, we do our own cars and obviously if we win, we make this company win. It’s more about the spirit of building a team, achieving things for everyone in the Renault group. The pressure is there, maybe it’s more pressure but it will also be more natural.”
Despite its strained relationship with Red Bull, Renault will carry on supplying the Milton Keynes-based outfit with power units, though these will carry the name of new main sponsor TAG Heuer.