Red Bull has hinted that Renault is finally making progress, on the back of promising results from engine dyno testing in France since the Austrian Grand Prix.
The French car manufacturer has been evaluating a single cylinder prototype that has been prepared by consultant Mario Illien as part of a push led by Red Bull.
Although it is still early days for the development work, Red Bull boss Christian Horner said on Wednesday that there was cause for optimism after a difficult start to the campaign.
“I think there’s aspects that have been encouraging,” he said during a Red Bull media event. “But then how does that translate to full scale?
“It’s like going from the wind tunnel onto the circuit at that stage. But yes, there have been some encouraging results on the test bed.”
Long lead times
Although the promise from Viry-Chatillon is welcome, Horner is equally well aware that it will still take time for any improvements to find their way on to the track.
“They are working hard behind the scenes and coming out with some interesting concepts,” he said.
“The problem in the engine world is everything is long lead time. You test as a single cylinder first before you go into a V6 format.
“They are obviously still working on that single cylinder format which means the lead time to any V6 is several months away. But we are hopeful of seeing something before the end of the year.”
Pushing for 2015
Although Red Bull accepts its world title hopes are over for this year, Horner feels there is still value in pushing engine development as hard as possible – to get new bits on board for 2015.
“We certainly feel it would be an advantage to get it on the car this year, because at least we’re learning about the characteristics.
“In reality this year is compromised anyway for us so it’s important to use the time constructively to put together a better package for next year.”