Renault engine picture now clear - Taffin

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Renault's F1 power unit is now running on full song and its performance at the recent Italian Grand Prix offered ample validation of the engine's progress year-to-date, according to technical director Remi Taffin.

The engine, whose performance and reliability was so decried 12 months ago, has drastically improved in 2016 with just a 1.254s gap between Lewis Hamilton's pole at Monza and the best Renault-powered car, compared to 2.249s in 2015.

"We had a trouble free weekend, so the clear picture of the engine is there," Taffin explained to Autosport.

"We know Mercedes is in front and that Ferrari is too, but we saw in the race, there is no problem getting past another car when it is needed.

"It's just emphasising the fact we have made big progress but there is still a way to go. I guess Ferrari is halfway to the gap we have got to Mercedes. Honda are catching but they are quite a way behind us."

Given its good relative performance and solid reliability which it hopes to build on, Taffin also underlined Renault's target of reaching the end of the season without incurring any penalties.

"I have to cross fingers when I talk about that [reliability] but it's true we have a good record.

"We're the only engine manufacturer to not have got a penalty on that and it's clear we have to get the record.

"The plan is to stay at that level for the rest of the season and next year. It's a baseline to be able to develop and it's why we are able to get the performance into the car.

"We're now entering a region compared to our competitors where we can start having our chassis and driver fight in a race.

"It's the first time we have been able to have a fight at Monza since the beginning of the V6 era."

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