Renault’s Rémi Taffin: “There’s a very good feeling in the team, especially after Montréal”

by Paul Hensby

Rémi Taffin, Renault F1 Team’s Engine Technical Director, said the result of the Canadian Grand Prix was pleasing as he felt it showcased the kind of package the R.S.19 for the first time in 2019.

Daniel Ricciardo started fourth and finished sixth at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and was closely followed home by team-mate Nico Hülkenberg as Renault delivered a double-points score for the first time this season.

Heading to this weekend’s French Grand Prix, the home race for Renault, Taffin feels the team will have the opportunity again to show just how competitive they can be as they bid to move up to fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship.

“Montréal is an engine sensitive, high-powered track and it was pleasing to see good performance from the car,” said Taffin.  “For the first time this season, we were able to see our whole package performing throughout the entire weekend.

“What counts is doing it again and we have a great opportunity in France, our home race, to repeat that and deliver to the same level. We clearly have engaged with our season now, but we have more hard work to get through. We want to take fourth place back and move clearly ahead of the rest.”

Taffin believes the engine has had the potential to be strong throughout the year but it took a few races to get everything aligned, particularly regarding the reliability concerns that affected the early races.  However, with a good baseline now found, it was satisfying to be at the head of the intense midfield battle.

“We knew we had the performance in the engine right from testing and race one,” added Taffin. “Overall, we had a good winter, conducted a lot of work on that front, but we were caught by two incidents in the first two races.

“We showed our ability to react to that. We introduced upgrades in Barcelona, counter measures to our problems, and from there showed we could firstly, be reliable, and secondly, show the performance of our power unit.

We have a good baseline but we know there’s a lot more to do and more is still to come. We could say in Montréal we were satisfied because we were where we targeted to be, at the front of the midfield.”

Taffin says the result from Canada has given the team a lift heading into this weekend’s race at the Circuit Paul Ricard, and with the track in France similar in parts to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, hopes are high for another strong performance and result.

“There’s a very good feeling in the team, especially after Montréal,” Taffin said.  “Staff members enjoyed that race – maybe for the first time this season. That’s a real boost for the team heading into our home race.

“When you race at home, you can feel the warmth of the people and their energy and pride. At the same time, it also gives you an extra motivation to deliver, albeit with a bit of added pressure.

“From an engine perspective, the demands are close to those of Montréal, however, at Paul Ricard there are more medium to high-speed corners. That’s something to take into account when setting up the car.

“We demonstrated in Montréal the package can deal with long straights and big braking zones. The target on the power unit is to run as much as possible and be reliable to allow the team to evaluate the chassis upgrades we will bring.”

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