Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor Fortis
Whilst the Formula One community are currently enjoying the mid-season break, work will however continue within the Renault Sport F1 engine division.
Having endured a poor start to the new V6 Hybrid power unit formula during the 2014 test, with their supplied teams (Red Bull and Toro Rosso) doing the least mileage of all at preseason testing, it was feared that they would struggle to finish races during the season. However, Renault along with Red Bull were able to recover during the season, winning three races helping the Milton Keynes team to a second place finish in the constructor’s championship.
Renault had hoped for a better start to their 2015 campaign with both Red Bull and Toro Rosso, but has so far seen their power units suffer a raft of unreliability issues. Currently all four drivers using the Renault power unit have been penalised for using a sixth unit. This has lead to a very public “falling out” between the French engine manufacturer and the former quadruple world champions Red Bull with the latter constantly threatining to leave the sport if they cannot be competative.
However despite their current difficulties, there has been some signs of improvement and at the recent Hungarian Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo qualified on the second row of the grid in fourth and three Renault powered cars finished in the top four on race day.
Remi Taffin, Renault Sport F1 Director of Operations, aims to address this problem and has revealed that the French manufacturer will spare no effort in closing the gap to the front running Mercedes and Ferrari powered cars. To help them achieve their ambition they have additional staff working right throughout the summer break.
“Renault Sport F1 isn’t a team so we are exempt from the shutdown if we choose. The calendar this year has been very hectic so trackside personnel and a number of design staff will use the break for a holiday, but Renault Sport F1 will still be officially open. Around 35% of the workforce will come to work on a daily basis.
“We alternate holidays between staff so performance work is ongoing. We have a number of important upgrades coming for the second part of the year so it’s important to keep that running to the benefit of our partner teams and their performance later in the season.
“We’ve carried the momentum forward and the result in Hungary shows we are on the right trend now. Even though it seems like a holiday period for everyone, we’ll still be pushing hard.”
This will be music to the hears of Red Bull’s Christian Horner and Helmut Marko as they have been the more vocal and critical of the two supplied teams. It has been well documented that they have continually questioned if the French outfit was doing enough to rectify their current issues.
But one has to ask, why now? Why was this not done at the end of the 2014 season?
With the rumours of an impending purchase of the Lotus F1 team, could this extra effort be in preparation for Renault becoming a works team again?