Renault’s managing director Cyril Abiteboul believes Red Bull Racing communications regarding the development of the 2017 Renault power unit are incorrect.
Red Bull have stated from the start of the season that it didn’t expect any major upgrades to the Renault power unit to be in place until the Canadian Grand Prix in June, but Abiteboul stresses that upgrades have been brought consistently throughout the season already.
“Frankly, what I want to play down is this sort of focus on the upgrade because the engine is improving every weekend,” Abiteboul told motorsport.com.
“We said reliability was the main issue to the performance delivery and improvement and that is exactly the case. I give you a clear example – we had better reliability.
“We just completed a programme on dyno, this week, on Saturday and on Saturday afternoon there was immediately mapware for all three teams.
“It’s not black and white, we haven’t suddenly jumped Mercedes in terms of power delivery, but that is small improvement. There will be more to come in Monaco and there will be more to come when we introduce power unit number three again.
“Red Bull, as always, is making wrong communication about performance development.
“But what I can guarantee you is, race-by-race, the engine will improve and overall in the season, we have – if you look at the engine software, hardware and also the fuel and lubricants coming from our petroleum partner, I’m sure there is a very decent step to come. “
Asked whether Renault could reduce the deficit to the leading Mercedes power unit, Abiteboul added:
“The gap to be fully closed, it’s not going to happen this year.
“We think it’s something for next year, but having said that, we think the step we are planning to make, which we have on the shelf for this year, is going to almost close it completely in the course of the season.