Renault out of 'recovery mode' for first time this season
Renault says it will finally be out of "recovery mode" at this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix as it completes a set of upgrades for its power unit.
Since the first test in Jerez, Renault has been on the back foot with its new V6 turbo power unit, experiencing a range of reliability issues and a power deficit to rivals Mercedes. Its premium partner Red Bull has upped the pressure on the French manufacturer in recent races, but for the first time this year Renault is confident of getting the most from its power units in Canada.
"At the start of the season we said that we would be out of recovery mode and back on track from the Canadian Grand Prix onwards," head of track operations Remi Taffin said. "In the last four races we've introduced several new upgrades and we will complete the process in Montreal, effectively giving us the first full opportunity to see where we are versus the competition.
"We have several new parts to debut here, primarily designed to give us greater reliability. As in previous races we have more upgrades to software to further enhance driveability and energy management.
"Additionally we have investigated the reasons for the failures in Monaco and have taken measures to ensure they do not reoccur. In particular we have looked at Vettel's issue, which was traced back to a mechanical problem with the MGU-H. The part in question has been revisited and further end of line checks have made it more robust now. The exhaust issues on the Toro Rossos have also been investigated with the team and together we have seen how we can avoid further issues in future thanks to improvements to our diagnosis and understanding of the full exhaust system behaviour in the car."
However, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve's long straights will play to the strengths of the more powerful Mercedes engine over the Renault and Taffin is aware of the challenge the weekend poses.
"Montreal represents the toughest challenge of the year so far for the Power Units. The long straights demand maximum power for a high percentage of the lap, therefore stressing the ICE [internal combustion engine] hugely. I expect we'll see speeds in excess of 330kph as we did in Barcelona so we will rely on the MGU-K and MGU-H to boost both top speed and acceleration.
"With very few corners energy recovery via the MGU-K will however be pretty difficult as the cars do not slow frequently over the lap. As a result the emphasis will be on the MGU-H to recover energy through the exhaust gasses - we'll need as much energy as we can as we'll be right on the limit with the fuel consumption here. Having said that, we will also monitor the right balance between traditional and electrical energy to decide the most effective way to use the fuel in the race.
"Even though we know that the competition is extremely strong, we go to Montreal in an optimistic frame of mind as we always do our best to win on track. Realistically we have to be humble, but it will still be a very good test of how far we've come since the difficult winter testing period and how much work remains to be done."