Renault's Rob White has admitted that the engine manufacturer is “not in good shape to win a race in Australia tomorrow afternoon”.
Red Bull has made clear progress since the end of pre-season testing and consistently featured inside the top ten in all three practice sessions before qualifying second and 11th with Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel respectively. However, Vettel was vocal in his criticism of the power unit's driveability over team radio on Saturday, while Caterham failed to run on Friday due to three different power unit issues.
While White is pleased with the signs of progress so far this weekend, speaking exclusively to Crash.net
he said winning the race was beyond realistic reach.
“We're not in good shape to win a race in Australia tomorrow afternoon without a bit of a shake of the lucky stick,” White said. “Nothing's impossible in racing and we're in this to win races and championships. If we're not quick enough to win races in the beginning then hopefully we'll win races later on.
“Where we will be relative to the competition, we don't have under control what the other guys do, we can influence our own performance. So our task is to make the best use of our own resources and to get our own product up to the best possible level and then we go racing. The race remains a sporting event in which unpredictable outcomes are a good thing and not a bad thing. We would like obviously to be on the good side of the outcome, but for the time being we will be on an improving slope.”
However, White was confident that all four teams that Renault supplies is in a position to complete the race competitively as far as the power unit is concerned.
“We're still catching up and we're pleased with the progress that has been achieved. We think that we've covered all of the principal sets of circumstances necessary to run from start through to finish of the race weekend and there is no individual circumstance about which we feel particularly worried or concerned.
“There's no single issue which leaps off the page as one that is going to cause us a lot of trouble. The fact remains that we've got a big list of potential trouble that we have to manage. We're well equipped to manage, but there is a bit of juggling behind the scenes to deal with that and that's normal. Maybe the number of instances which are up in the air is higher than we would like, the number of inputs to this relatively normal process is greater than we would like and therefore we shouldn't shirk the fact that the risk of one of them biting us is higher than it should be and higher than we would like.
“But that said, we go in to the race weekend expecting to run normal practice, qualifying and race sessions and expecting to get to the end of them. Our desire is that the race plays out on Sunday, the fans get to see a show in which the drivers scrap for position and the race delivers its sporting verdict on the relative performance of the teams and the drivers.”