Renault can win this year – Taffin

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Renault Sport F1 director of operations Rémi Taffin thinks the French engine manufacturer can power partner teams Red Bull and Toro Rosso to success this season.

After securing three grand prix victories last year, all courtesy of Daniel Ricciardo in the RB10, RSF1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul aimed to halve Mercedes’s power unit advantage and set a 5-win target ahead of the 2015 campaign.

Since then, Renault has experienced a trying start to the season following a spate of reliability and driveability issues. This led to an escalating public spat with Red Bull, both sides trading blows and blaming each other for the current shortcomings.

While all four Renault-powered cars managed to finish in the points-paying positions at Sepang, three were a lap down from race winner Sebastian Vettel and neither could realistically match the frontrunners’ pace.

However, Taffin remains confident Renault and its two partners can right the ship and follow in Ferrari’s footsteps to challenge Mercedes.

“I think we can win and both Toro Rosso and Red Bull will help us just do that,” he told French broadcaster Canal+.

“Let’s not forget that in-season developments are allowed on the engine as well as on the chassis. There is still a lot more to come. And we’re talking about Red Bull! They’ve won four world championships and remain a top team and a big organisation, so I think we can make it happen.

“As for the power unit, our current development programme is pretty aggressive and uncompromising. We acknowledged that we were behind. Now, the season has just started; we’ve got plenty of items up our sleeves and look to help our clients succeed.”

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