Red Bulls technical guru Adrian Newey is pleased with the progress that Renault are making in the V6 hybrid engine wars. Progress this year has been easy to see as the Tag Heuer branded package has inspired Red Bull to some strong finishes in the first half of this season.
With the promise of more to come, it won’t be long before Renault are on a par with Mercedes? This is in stark contrast to 2015 when Renault took a public hammering from the Milton Keynes squad over the outputs of their engine. The fallout continued all year and was saved at the last minute when no one else was prepared to offer Red Bull an engine to go racing with.
“I think it’s fairly well recorded that at the start of last season there was a frustrating time when Renault if anything, frankly, were going backwards rather than forwards,” he said. “But they seem to have really gone away, understood their problems and made really good progress over the last winter and again with the upgrade that we had for Monaco. If they can keep that ramp going then we can really start to close in power unit wise on Mercedes.”
The win at Barcelona this year was red bulls first win on track in 18 months, and Newey was quick to credit this achievement to Renaults improvement.
“It’s obviously good to have won a race again this year. Monaco was frustrating because we mucked that up ourselves, but to be back running at least somewhere near the front is a reward to not only all the hard work that’s gone on at Red Bull, but also all the hard work Renault has put in over the last 12 months.”
For the rest of formula one this is brilliant news. Renault have certainly done their talking on the track regarding the engine gate affair. Around the corner though, could another debate be brewing? How long will Renault be happy for the works team to struggle behind a customer? Only time will tell.