Further issues 'anticipated' in Sepang - Renault
Remi Taffin admits Renault's issues are likely to continue in Malaysia, which he believes will be the toughest race of the year on the new generation of engines.
Of the seven retirements at Albert Park, five of them were for Renault-powered cars, with Sebastian Vettel's on lap three the most notable of them all. After Daniel Ricciardo's disqualification, the highest Renault-powered finisher was Jean-Eric Vergne in eighth as just three of its cars went the distance, a clear indication of how far the engine supplier still has to go to bridge the gap to Mercedes. Though head of track operation Taffin feels Renault has certainly made progress since then, he is not ignoring the fact that Malaysia will provide a tougher test than Melbourne.
"We had several issues across the cars in Melbourne but we have recreated the problems in the dyno at Viry," said Taffin. "Most are fixed and the remaining will be under control by Friday in Sepang. While we anticipate further issues may occur we are much more able to react quickly to minimize their impact. Sepang is one of the circuits whose technical requirements will change under the new regulations. In the V8 era the circuit sat towards the middle of the table for the challenge it posed for engines but now it will be one of the toughest races of the year."
Taffin believes the notorious heat and humidity of Sepang will be the biggest challenge of the weekend.
"Of the six main components of the Power Unit, the internal combustion engine will be under the most pressure in Malaysia. The humidity in Sepang made it a little bit easier on normally aspirated engines since power comes down as the water content in the air increases. This means we were generally able to offset the impact of the two long straights. This year we won't have this luxury. With a turbo engine the air intake is controlled at all times regardless of ambient conditions so those long straights will really start to hurt. As a result Sepang will become a lot less forgiving as twice a lap the PUs will be flat out, with the turbo revving at close to 100,000rpm for over 10 seconds."