Renault Sport F1’s Remi Taffin says that the testing of the upgraded engine in Spain was successful – and the Frenchman confirmed that the new unit could be raced in Monaco, if it can be readied in time.
The upgrade was originally scheduled for Montreal, but both the Renault works team and Red Bull are keen to use it earlier.
“The power unit we have used since the first race in Australia was really a continuation of the work started in the ‘Spec D’ power unit we introduced at the tail end of 2015,” said Taffin. “We explored some concepts in that earlier iteration and the 2016 unit took them further, for example in the turbo.
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“This new spec goes even further down the line and also includes significant modifications to the combustion system. It will make the ICE more powerful but also efficient, leading to a gain of around half a second per lap. We’ve used a small proportion of our token allocation for this upgrade.
“The current power unit used since Australia has had several smaller upgrades and all the drivers were very happy with the standard in Spain. In parallel, we’ve been working on the new spec since the start of the season but needed to sign off all the parts for reliability and mileage before using on track.”
Regarding Monaco, he said: “The tests were very positive and showed it to be more powerful and driveable. We had originally planned to use the new version in Canada when the current units are scheduled to be removed from the cycle, but if we can get the units together and completely validated by Monaco we will use the ones available at this race.”
Taffin said further steps could be seen this year.
“We will continue our development over the rest of the season, using tokens with a view to getting on board any useful items identified from our 2017 work. We are principally focused on 2017 and making that next power unit as optimal as possible.”