Renault looking to hold its performance level at Spa


As Renault prepares for next weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, chief technical officer Bob Bell offered a reminder of the challenges which await the French squad at Spa.

With over 65% of the 7km track spent flat-out, the Belgian venue is the hardest of the year for teams' power units. But it's also one of the most demanding on the engine's energy recovery MGU-K system as each of the track's braking points comes after a long burst of power,ย  so the energy dissipated through the brake sis enormous.

"Spa is the longest track of the year at 7km and very fast with a good mix of high and medium speed corners, sweeping sections and some low speed corners in the mix," explained Bell.

"Thereโ€™s also elevation changes and you always have unpredictable weather too! It will be difficult for us, but the work we have done in the last races should stand us in good stead.

"Weโ€™ve got a better handle on car balance and I think we should be able to keep our current level of performance."

Renault won't be introducing any updates in Belgium but Bell hopes the team, which has scored just 6 points so far (a result of Kevin Magnussen'sย  7th place finish in Russia) will be able to capitalize on its recent progress.

"Weโ€™ve not got a major upgrade, but we should see the progress made in the last two races transfer forward to Spa. We fought with Haas and Toro Rosso and I think we are capable of getting on their tails again.

"There will be some developments coming through that were scheduled to come on stream in the second part of the year so even though our focus will primarily be on 2017 after the shutdown, we should still be able to improve upon our current level of form.

Bell readily acknowledged Renault's relative under-performance, but also underlined the team's current need to focus on the next race while ramping up its efforts for next season.

"Clearly we are not as competitive as we would have liked, but in some respects we are not surprised at this form.

"All teams are finding it hard to unlock real performance gains, partly due to the current stability in regulations that makes it tricky to find the final parts of the puzzle.

"Itโ€™s also partly due to a concerted effort on 2017, which will see big regulation changes. Itโ€™s not just hard for us, but for everyone on the grid.

"That said, we have been very good at finding our strong points and exploiting them, and since Hungary we have seen some genuine progress."

GALLERY: F1 drivers on summer break

Pascal Wehrlein interview: The rookie who wants to lead

F1i Classic -ย Mayhem, monsoon and the mother of all Belgian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen interview: Destined to be a champion?

Keep up to date with all the F1 news viaย Facebookย andย Twitter