At the start of the European leg of the 2015 FIA Formula One season at the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya saw the four Renault-powered Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso cars take the finish, with three in the points.
Infiniti Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo crossed the line in seventh place, with his team mate Daniil Kvyat tenth. Carlos Sainz finished in ninth place at his home race while his team mate Max Verstappen just shy of the points in eleventh place.
During the weekend, Ricciardo made two stops in the race to finish three places up on his qualifying position. The Australian raced with the Toro Rosso and Lotus cars for much of the race. Kvyat lost positions at the start and got stuck in traffic, but recovered into the top ten to claim one point.
Home debutant Sainz qualified in fifth position, the highest grid slot of his F1 career so far. The Spaniard finished in ninth on track after overtaking Kvyat on the final lap of the race. Team-mate Verstappen likewise enjoyed a strong qualifying, starting sixth on the grid, but just missed out on race day points with 11th position.
After the race yesterday, Renault’s Director of Operations Remi Taffin stated that this weekend they achieved the best that they could do with all of their customer cars after taking a safe approach to Sunday’s race, but knows that they need to develop and build upon what they have learnt and achieved this weekend and raise their performance without compromising their reliability.
“This weekend we achieved our minimum aim of finishing the Grand Prix with all four cars,” said Taffin. “We were less conservative in qualifying and showed that the potential is still there, but we took a safe approach in the race.
“We now need to maintain this platform and build on it for the next races. In parallel we are aware we need to raise our game in performance but we need to do this without taking any risks with the reliability.”
Meanwhile Renault’s Manager Director Cyril Abiteboul believes that they have worked hard to eliminate the issues they encountered in the first four races of the season so far. Abiteboul knows that they have compromised bringing new parts in until the issues have been fully fixed and are now looking to improve their performance in the next few races of the season.
“Everyone at Viry has worked hard to recover from the disappointment of the first four races,” said Abiteboul. “We needed to eliminate the issues we saw and get reliability under control before we could introduce any new specification parts.
“We had to limit mileage in some cases until we had all the necessary information, which is never ideal, but sometimes you have to take a short term hit for long term gain. All four cars crossed the line so we are more or less back on an level footing with reliability, and can now look to bring a bit more performance for the next races.”