Remi Taffin was happy with the progress that was seen from the Renault power unit during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, with it showing well against the likes of Mercedes and Ferrari around the Baku City Circuit.
Daniel Ricciardo won with Renault power on board of his Red Bull Racing RB13, while Nico Hülkenberg was on course for a good result before the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team racer hit the wall, but overall Engine Technical Director Taffin was pleased with the improved performance around what was a power-hungry circuit.
“In terms of performance we were able to demonstrate on a very power-sensitive circuit that we have made another step forward,” said Taffin. “This was not through new components, but rather through our continual quest for more power and improvement, concentrating on the details and optimising every element of the package.
“Nico was fighting to be in the top five when he made contact with the wall, and this was on a circuit with a tremendously long straight and a great appetite for horsepower. It was also good for us to be able to cheer the race winner.”
Taffin admits that whilst it was good to see an improved performance in Azerbaijan, the fact that three Renault-powered cars retired with mechanical issues was not ideal, although the issues that affected them have already been addressed.
Max Verstappen retired with an engine issue, as did Jolyon Palmer, while Daniil Kvyat suffered an electrical shutdown in Baku, but heading into this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, Taffin is confidence these issues will not be repeated.
“What is also clear is that we did have reliability issues on track; issues which we immediately addressed, but this should not detract from the clear progress which has been made,” said Taffin. “We have put in place new and better procedures to catch any issues before the cars take to the track and we’re working with great diligence in this area.
“For our customer teams, we saw coincidence of issues. The Energy Store issue we have seen has been addressed and the new Energy Stores are to a different specification without this concern. With the ICE, the latest specification addresses the problems we’ve seen to date. In Austria, we have the latest versions of components and we should not see any repeats of previous woes.”