- First Bahrain Test - Day Four
Renault admits to being a long way behind schedule
Renault has admitted it is now at a point with its V6 turbo power unit that it had hoped to be at midway through the first test, after another week of problems for its customers in Bahrain.
Renault completed 619 laps between its four teams this week compared to the 1147 completed by the four Mercedes-powered teams. However, after major issues with its power units in Jerez, deputy managing director Rob White said it was starting to make small steps of progress.
"We have made some good headway, in terms of PU [power unit] performance and operation in the car, we are now in a situation we could have accepted mid-Jerez. We have solved some problems and revealed some others.
"We are not back on schedule but we are moving in the right direction - the running we have done is very valuable. The challenge is to improve the rate of progress, because the gap to where we wanted to be at this stage remains substantial. We are some weeks behind where we wanted to be, and we acknowledge it will take time to unlock the full performance of the PU.
"We are working hard to get there and we are determined to succeed. We remain confident in the PU and its sub systems, we are just not at the level of operation and performance we want to be. The immaturity of the PU combined with the time lost to incidents, means the chassis work to prepare for the season is also behind schedule. From this point on we must pursue and accelerate an upward curve."
White said one of the problems was that small issues were taking a long time to fix.
"We have had some set-backs, but we have definitely made progress and have taken several steps forward. The changes have improved the PU behaviour in the car and we are have accumulated valuable mileage. There have been stoppages, on our side and on the chassis side as well, but we have ironed out some important faults and allowed the teams to gain crucial experience of the car as a whole.
"We have seen that minor incidents can cause downtime that is difficult or impossible to recover. In particular, we lost more time than anticipated on the final day. While we are not at the level of operation and performance we would want to be, we have a more solid basis to work from, and we are moving in the right direction."