Remi Taffin the head of the power unit department at Renault Sport F1 Team believes Renault are only behind Scuderia Ferrari, and are ahead of Mercedes AMG Petronas and Honda in terms of power.
Speaking to Auto Motor und Sport he explained that it is a close battle between the teams due to it being a few kilowatts of power that separate the engines. Taffin, made it clear that the differences are no longer as big as they once were. He also criticised Honda who supplies Red Bull Racing saying that they are further behind than anyone.
“We are in a close battle with Mercedes and Ferrari in engine performance, Mercedes is a bit behind us, Ferrari a bit ahead. Honda is one step behind. But today we are no longer talking about differences of 50 kilowatts. With Ferrari, Mercedes and us there is between five and ten kilowatts. At Honda, it’s maybe 15 or 20 kilowatts behind.“
Taffin explained that there was trouble during the 2019 Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix which meant Renault had to change elements after failures from Carlos Sainz Jr.’s McLaren F1 Team car, along with Renault drivers Daniel Riccardo and Nico Hülkenberg.
“It kept us from building a better engine. The last specification that debuted in Monza was about to be approved when this damage happened. If a connecting rod breaks, you have to use all resources to solve this problem. It has delayed the production of the C-Spec engine.“
Taffin talked about the differences in building a Formula 1 power unit and are hoping for good progress.
It is not expected that the team would break into the top three, but Taffin has hope for this, “This is the difference between Formula 1 and the rest of the world: we are not smarter, but we are faster. Time is our biggest enemy. On the other hand, when it came to fault analysis, we came across things that took us a step further in the further development of the engine.”