Renault technical director Remi Taffin says that the French car manufacturer have made “big progress” in the engine department after a strong performance in Monza.
The Renault powered Red Bull showed a huge improvement from the Italian Grand Prix last year, the power unit was faster in the speed trap and showed strong reliability in the race.
Speaking to Autosport, Taffin said, “We had a trouble free weekend, so the clear picture of the engine is there, 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.
Renault have closed the gap to Ferrari but still have some way to go to challenge the Mercedes power unit.
“We still have a small way to go to Ferrari. I guess Ferrari is halfway to the gap we have got to Mercedes. Honda are catching but they are quite a way behind us.”
Renault plan on making a late decision on whether to use their upgraded power unit at Singapore which has improved reliability and power.
“I have to cross fingers when I talk about that [reliability] but it’s true we have a good record,” he said. 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.”