Renault have used eleven of its twelve tokens to upgrade their power unit ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, but is unsure whether they will be utilised.
With just four races of the season remaining, the engine manufacturer have finally used the majority of their tokens, but both the Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso teams may decide not to use the new power units as they would incur a grid penalty as a result.
The teams will both sit down with Renault ahead of the weekend to decide whether to take the new power unit in Austin, with the thoughts of that it may be beneficial for the teams in the three races following in Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi.
Whether or not the upgrades are used in the United States, Renault’s director of operations Remi Taffin believes they could be in good shape regardless of which engine configuration they use.
“Whatever spec we do use, we are looking forward to Austin,” said Taffin. “Our reliability has been good in the last three races and performance more in line with our expectations; both our teams just need a clean weekend to show the improved potential of both packages.”
The changes made by Renault are to improve the power output of the engine, as well as the efficiency of the internal combustion engine, with the aim to bring the gap down to Mercedes and Ferrari.
The upgrades had been delayed earlier in the season to rectify the reliability issues that had plagued both Red Bull and Toro Rosso, which effectively ended the positive working relationship between the two teams and the engine supplier.
“The principal changes involve the internals of the ICE to give improved power and efficiency,” added Taffin. “We know that introducing the new PU will incur a grid penalty so the decision to use will be made in full consultation with the teams.
“At this point of the season obviously points are crucial so if circumstances allow then we will use on track.”