Third winter test and second at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya offered a final chance to prepare the Renault Energy-F1 2015 before Melbourne.
Renault and its partner teams largely fulfilled their objectives with Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso accumulating a combined total of 9,800km, the equivalent of 32 grands prix over the three tests.
Improvements to the Power Unit shown on track confirmed dyno simulations. With ten days of development remaining before Melbourne, more performance is expected before the season opener.
This week saw Renault Sport F1 conclude its on-track pre-season preparations at the third and final winter test in Barcelona ahead of the upcoming FIA Formula One World Championship campaign.
Maintaining the momentum gained at the same circuit a week ago, Renault Sport F1’s partner teams Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso continued to rack up the kilometres thanks to the Power Unit’s overall reliability.
Indeed, all four Renault-powered drivers were able to replicate entire grand prix weekends, including practice, qualifying, grid procedure and race simulation. These, along with the distances covered in the previous two tests, equate to a combined pre-season total of more than 9,800km or 32 grands prix.
Renault’s progress across all 12 days of testing has been both consistent and promising. The Power Unit is now demonstrating good reliability and also benefits from improved driveability.
Renault Sport F1 now travels to Melbourne for the opening round of this season’s FIA Formula One World Championship on 15 March where a Renault Energy F1-2015 Power Unit featuring several further developments should offer even greater potential.
Rémi Taffin, Director of Operations:
“With winter testing at an end we’re satisfied to have mostly completed our development programme, starting with covering as many kilometres as possible. Running was the number one objective so we’re pleased to have seen one of our Power Units complete five grand prix cycles across Barcelona’s first and second tests.
“We experienced a little down time on the final day with an ERS problem at Red Bull and an ICE problem at Toro Rosso, but are confident that the specification run in Melbourne will have eliminated these issues.
“Performance-wise, we would have liked a bit more time but we’ve always been conscious of that situation following our particularly aggressive development choices. There’s still further potential to be extracted before Melbourne, especially in terms of driveability. But, as far as the amount of power delivered is concerned, we’re definitely there.
“Another positive point concerns the preparation of our technical crews operating within each partner team; the collaboration is now seamless. Meanwhile, at Viry-Châtillon, work continues apace to ensure we arrive in Melbourne in the best possible shape.
“It’s difficult to make predictions but one thing is for sure: we cannot wait to get there. Three hundred people have been working flat out for months and we’re all impatient to see the end result.”
Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director:
“My assessment of pre-season testing is reasonably positive. Before it began our main priority was reliability, and eliminating the gremlins we saw over the winter and in Jerez. Now we have reached the target level for Melbourne, results confirmed by cross-examining data gathered on the dyno. In that regard the situation is quite positive.
“Saying that, everyone else also seems reliable so we’ll be banking on performance to score big points in Australia. And although it’s still difficult to compare ourselves with others in that regard, we’re feeling quietly optimistic ahead of the opening round.
“But it’s still imperative that we eke out every last bit of potential from the Power Unit between now and Melbourne.
“Finally, we’ll also continue analysing the data acquired across all three tests, whether it be concerning the Power Unit itself, our partner teams or the competition. It’s important work that allows us to define our development strategy for the rest of the season and the coming years.”