Progress unlikely until 2015 - Renault
Remi Taffin says the engine freeze imposed on manufacturers at the start of the season means it is highly unlikely Renault can make significant steps forward until 2015.
After a difficult weekend on home soil at the Austrian Grand Prix last weekend Red Bull labelled Renault's performance as "unacceptable" as speculation grew about the team building its own engines for 2016. Engines were homologated at the start of the season, limiting changes to just reliability, safety or cost-cutting reasons, which Taffin concedes makes it tough for Renault to get too much closer to Mercedes this year despite Red Bull's frustrations.
"The engine for this year, as with Mercedes hardware, is fixed so there is not much we can change to be fair," said Taffin, Renault's head of track operations. "We have oil and fuel which we do develop and can introduce of them until the end of the year, and the rest is software. It's a fair assessment to say where we are now is all about optimising what we've got. We're not going to start having 10% more power at the next race by changing the hardware - it's not possible.
"Maybe we will get a few percent from fuel or oil and software will help us maximise our performance every single weekend because it's fair to say we still haven't got everything under control, at any race we've still had to tune stuff ... Now it's a matter of trying to make things consistent and go through things weekend by weekend."
After seeing how Mercedes stole a march on Renault and Ferrari ahead of 2014, Taffin says next season presents something of a clean slate.
"The development [this year] is one thing but we are developing the engine for next year already … It's not that we are more focused on '15 than '14 but its just that for '15 we've got the freedom to develop our engine, to get some new parts in, basically nearly everything. In 2014 its all fixed so it's a bit hard to change the hardware with the rules. We do as much as we can on what we can change."
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