The Renault F1 Team may have had higher expectations upon arrival in Malaysia, but Sunday's result was still very positive. The 2004 regulations put engine reliability under the spotlight, with the single-engine rule. So far, the Renault F1...
The Renault F1 Team may have had higher expectations upon arrival in Malaysia, but Sunday's result was still very positive.
The 2004 regulations put engine reliability under the spotlight, with the single-engine rule. So far, the Renault F1 Team's RS24 has delivered on its promises, suffering no problems in the first races of the year. "Over the winter, our reliability targets were the biggest priority," explains Engine Operations boss Denis Chevrier. "It is quite satisfying to see both cars make the finish once again, and demonstrates that we chose to approach the problem in the correct fashion."
What's more, there are steps to come on the V10, and soon. "We haven't sought to hide the fact that we would introduce an evolution in Imola," continues Denis. "This represents the fruit of our initial performance development cycle. Other modifications will follow during the year."
From the engine perspective, the race didn't pose any particular problems. "Jarno and Fernando were able to use their engines to the full until the end of the race," he clarifies. "The conditions were demanding, and the RS24 passed the test, which is positive. However, at certain points of the race, our cars were rather slow, and both drivers were complaining of poor handling. The R24s suffered a performance loss during several laps, and we need to establish why. But having said that, the speed came back at the end of the race."
Finally, although the team may have been hoping for more upon arrival in Sepang, the conclusions from today are still positive. "Our disappointment came yesterday, not this afternoon," concludes Denis. "Qualifying obviously didn't go as we had wanted, but the race performances -- in light of our grid positions -- were very good. We cannot but be satisfied with that. We have scored six more points, and they could be valuable in terms of the championship later in the season."