Today was the first day of Australian Grand Prix practice for the Renault Energy F1-2014 V6 Turbo Power Units
Rob White, deputy managing director (technical) ‘It was very good to see the V6 turbos at the first Grand Prix of the year after a long and anxious build up.’
The first thing to say is that it was very good to see the V6 turbos at the first Grand Prix of the year after a long and anxious build up. We came to Melbourne not as prepared as we would have liked, with some race weekend scenarios still needing to be practiced. Today we managed to get through the missing items with some teams. Our main aim has been to set up the parameters and get closer to the limit of each individual part and therefore make up for lost time. With some teams we are much closer to these limits and in others we still have some way to go, but we have made up ground on our recovery plan.
Our aim was to complete as much running as possible to add to our bank of information. We achieved this with some teams, but with others we fell short.
We were clearly encouraged by Red Bull’s reliability and performance times in both sessions, with both Daniel competing more than a race distance over both sessions and Sebastian coming close. We are much closer to the performance envelope on the car too, and there is still more performance to come, which is very positive. Likewise Scuderia Toro Rosso was able to complete the highest number of laps of any team in FP1, and the relative pace was strong. In FP2 again they ran well and while we still have some way to go to improve the driveability and energy management, the start of the weekend has been good.
Unfortunately Caterham and Lotus were not able to get many laps on the board. Kamui Kobayashi experienced a fuel system issue in FP1 and Marcus Ericsson an electrical problem, which required a change of battery and the MGU-K. Both issues took a long time to fix, such is the complexity of the 2014 Power Units, which cost us valuable track time. Then in the later session, Marcus had a hydraulic issue and again we lost laps. While it seems like cold comfort, every issue is relatively straightforward – it is just not straightforward to fix.
Likewise Lotus experienced some problems that led to issues with the engine systems, with Pastor’s car having a battery change and both MGUs needing to be changed too. Given the lack of running over the winter this obviously wasn’t ideal and we will work with the team to make up for lost time tomorrow.
Overall we have learned a great deal today and we will look at everything in detail to improve in all areas tomorrow, but the start has been generally encouraging.
Renault Sport F1