- Second Bahrain Test - Day One
Renault confident it can manage a race distance
Renault is confident it will be able to complete a race distance at the Australian Grand Prix, but says there are still certain aspects of a grand prix weekend that its power unit has not been tested for.
Renault's V6 turbo and energy recovery unit has been riddled with issues during pre-season testing, which for the most part have kept its four teams rooted to the bottom of the timesheets. Reliability has also been a problem and none of the Renault-powered teams have completed a race simulation so far.
Nevertheless, when asked by ESPN if he thought the Renault engines will last the distance in Australia, head of trackside operations Remi Taffin said mileage was not the main issue.
"I'm pretty confident we can achieve it," he said. "If we were just going out and completing 60 laps of Melbourne it would be fine. The main thing we have to do is not just the 58 laps, it's the lap to the grid, the starts - it's all the typical things you would go through a race and not the things that you would test normally during this kind of session.
"That is part of the race preparation, which we will be going through tomorrow or the day after [Friday or Saturday]. From tomorrow onwards we will be going through that sort of preparation. We need to go at least once through all these stages to make sure we are not missing anything out, and not arriving at Melbourne and trying to do a start with everything falling apart.
"We'd like to be higher up the ranking, but that's where we are. We are always running different programmes so it's difficult to compare, but the one thing we can say is we can now run our power unit the way we want, we can develop the power unit and we can basically go forwards. The fact that we got a bit late doing this means that it will be difficult for us, but we are still planning to have the racing covered for Melbourne. "
All engine manufacturers have to submit their 2014 power unit specifications to the FIA for homologation on Friday, but Taffin insists Renault is not worried by the looming deadline.
"It's not a concern since we knew it was going to be tomorrow. We are ready to deliver the documents and everything is ready with the specification. We know how we are going to build the engines for Melbourne and that's according to this."
However, Taffin said Renault was clumping together certain upgrades to make sure it gets through its planned programme by the end of testing.
"You put every single modification into the power unit that you've got and you try to do everything at the same time, which is not the normal process. Normally you try to do one thing after the other sequentially and as a matter of trying to speed things up and take away the problems, we try to move up by big steps and sometimes it's a bit more difficult to digest. But that's just the way we need to go if we want to be ready by Melbourne.
"It's not like a lottery because we never go into things that we are not sure of, but we maybe squeeze a few stages in the way we should have done things, but so far it's paying."