Formula 1

Renault prioritise power unit ahead of Belgian Grand Prix

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Credit: Renault DP World F1 Team

Following a Spanish Grand Prix that yielded no points, Renault DP World F1 Team head into the Formula 1 World Championship’s latest triple-header with a focus on their engine power.

Rémi Taffin, the team’s Engine Technical Director emphasised the importance of engine performance at this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, in addition to the ensuing Italian Grand Prix and Tuscan Grand Prix.

We’ll ensure the engine is working as expected and, in every corner at Spa, it correlates to what our drivers want. We’re heading to three power sensitive circuits during this triple header,” said Taffin.

He detailed Esteban Ocon’s power unit situation going into the weekend: “Esteban will have new engine parts added to his car from Spa. It’s the same specification than his first engine, just brand new, as per the regulations on freezing engine spec development through to next season.”

Previewing the weekend, Ocon himself was reminiscent of Belgian Grands Prix gone by, pointing to his experiences making his Formula 1 début at the historic Spa Francorchamps circuit in 2016 and, more recently, his memorable 2018 qualifying in wet conditions:

Of course, qualifying third on the grid is one of my best memories in Formula 1 so far. It was at a crucial time when I needed to prove I deserved to be in Formula 1. To stand in the top three with Lewis [Hamilton] and Sebastian [Vettel] was something special.

Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was equally excited to return to Spa, but more so for the race than the flat-out qualifying session: “We’ve done so many laps there in the high-downforce cars that a bit of that single-lap rush has gone. Eau Rouge is full throttle and in race trim with a big tank of fuel in someone’s slipstream, it becomes a real corner where you’re sliding on four wheels, which is pretty epic,

He continued, “There’s also Pouhon and Blanchimont, which are not that easy in race conditions. It’s a place where you can overtake, you can defend and it’s high-speed racing. It’s so intense and I really like it.”

The Enstone-based team will be looking to start this power-intensive triple-header on a high. Though Renault has never been known for its top speeds, with the woes of the Ferrari power unit, good points are on the cards if everything falls into place.

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