'Happy to leave street circuits behind' says Renault's Bob Bell

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On the run-up to next weekend's Austrian Grand Prix, Renault's chief technical officer Bob Bell is looking forward to a series of upcoming tracks which will hopefully play to the strengths of the team's RS16.

The French manufacturer only scored points once this season, in Russia with Kevin Magnussen, and endured a difficult time as it tackled the Monaco,  Canada and Baku circuits with which the RS16 chassis did not fit well.

Bob Bell explained why the Renault typically struggles with low speed corners.

"It’s partly a function of downforce, and that simply goes back to development time," Bell said.

"We’re also looking at braking stability, so front locking into a slow corner has an impact on pace. For entry instability taking out front wing helps, but then the playoff is more mid-corner understeer possibly driving snappiness on exit.

"Traction’s another challenge. These are things we can fine-tune with weight distribution and mechanical balance for example, but ultimately the more downforce you have the more these type of issues go away.

While Bell believes Austria should provide a better environment for Renault, the Red Bull Ring layout shall also present its own series of challenges.

"It’s an interesting track. It has a relatively smooth surface so tyre warm-up could be a bit of an issue, and it’s cooler as it’s higher, which also has a small effect on the engine.

"Average corner speed is a bit higher, and there are not so many corners. It does have some high speed content so you want a car that also has good high speed balance.

"This higher speed content should suit us; as we’ve seen from the previous three races we do have a weakness in the low speed corners so it’s good to get away from them!

"Austria’s much more in the R.S.16’s comfort zone. We left the Barcelona test feeling quite positive, and since then we’ve added the positive step of the B specification engine, but the circuits we’ve visited subsequently have really caused our progress to falter; that’s something we must address."

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