Verstappen benefiting with new Renault engine in Singapore

by Paul Hensby

Max Verstappen will be the only beneficiary of the new Renault power unit this weekend in Singapore, with the engine manufacturer having used three tokens in its latest development phase.

Renault’s managing director Cyril Abiteboul has revealed that this will be the final update they introduce in 2016 to their power unit, while fuel suppliers Total is also introducing a new fuel to all four Renault-powered cars this weekend.

Red Bull Racing’s Verstappen was the only one of the four drivers to take the new engine, as Renault were only able to bring one to Singapore, but the Dutchman is out of sync in comparison to team-mate Daniel Ricciardo and Renault Sport F1 drivers Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer in the fact that this would be his fourth power unit of the season whereas the others are already using their fourth.

Abiteboul insisted there was no preferential treatment towards Verstappen to why he got the first opportunity to use the new engine around the Marina Bay Street Circuit this weekend.

“There is no tactic, no strategy, no preference,” said Abiteboul to Autosport. “We like Max, but it is just the natural way of managing the engine pool.

“This weekend it was the plan to introduce a new engine for Max, so he is the one enjoying the improvement of the engine through the utilisation of three tokens.

“All the engines will benefit from the new fuel developed with Total, and we are very happy with that positive development. The benefit, of course, will be higher for Max than for the three others. I think we will introduce the equivalent upgrade for the three others drivers in Malaysia.

“I don’t want to go into the details of what has been changed, and that’s one of the beauties of the tokens because with this process we don’t have to document what we are changing. We’ll keep that for us.

“But it’s in area that is providing more power, so we expect an extra gain from that development. It is also being introduced to test and learn some concepts for next year, which are all looking fairly positive.”

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