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Australian Grand Prix: Renault has to ‘improve across the board’

Renault has vowed to raise its game ahead of round two of the 2014 F1 campaign after a disappointing Australian Grand Prix.
Compared to pre-race expectations, Renault's Australian Grand Prix may not have been viewed to negatively but, despite getting three cars home in points-paying position, the French company insists that there is still massive room for improvement.

With Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull subsequently excluded from the results after concerns were raised over its fuel flow rate, only Toro Rosso racked up points with Renault power, with the remaining nine cars all falling by the wayside.

In some cases, notably Lotus and Caterham, races lasted longer than anticipated, but, having shown good qualifying pace, Red Bull suffered a major blow even before Ricciardo's DSQ when world champion Sebastian Vettel reported power problems on the formation lap. The German lasted just four tours into the race before having to call it a day.

A misfire on the RB10's power unit was later diagnosed as having caused the loss of power, while Caterham rookie Marcus Ericsson was sidelined by falling oil pressure 29 laps after team-mate Kamui Kobayashi had crashed out with brake failure at turn one of the 58-lap race. Lotus, meanwhile, suffered a nightmare start to the weekend, with neither Romain Grosjean nor Pastor Maldonado getting much running prior to qualifying. Remarkably, having started from the pit-lane and back of the grid respectively, both drivers moved into the top twelve and ran until mid-distance before similar MGU-K failures forced a double retirement.

That left Ricciardo and the two Toro Rosso drivers running at the end, with Jean-Eric Vergne and rookie Daniil Kvyat taking the flag in ninth and tenth positions. Ricciardo's exclusion subsequently promoted them one place apiece, but six points from a long weekend was far from what Renault had hoped.

“Today there are definitely mixed feelings,” Rémi Taffin, head of track operations, admitted, “Having cars retire is not acceptable and shows we need to improve our reliability across the board. This race was always going to be a baptism of fire, but we have come up short of our own expectations and we need to look at this before the next race.

“Some failures are similar, such as the MGU-K on the Lotus, but others are not related, which shows that we have to improve across the board. This is something we will look keenly at before the Malaysian Grand Prix to allow every team the chance to show the maximum potential of their cars.”

Renault has said that it will support Red Bull's appeal against Ricciardo's exclusion, which came nearly six hours after the race had finished. The Australian, previously elated to have claimed his maiden F1 podium in front of his home fans, was expunged from the results following a breach of Article 3.2 of the FIA Formual One Sporting Regulations and Article 5.1.4 of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations. Red Bull notified the FIA of its intention to appeal with immediate effect.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
16.03.2014- Race, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E22
16.03.2014- Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Caterham F1 Team CT-04
16.03.2014- Race, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9 leads Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9
16.03.2014- Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10
Remi Taffin (FRA) Renault Sport F1 Head of track operations  27.02.2014. Formula One Testing, Bahrain Test Two, Day One, Sakhir, Bahrain.
23.06.2017 - Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
23.06.2017 - Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
23.06.2017 - Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13
23.06.2017 - Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17
23.06.2017 - Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
23.06.2017 - Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
23.06.2017 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010 and his father
23.06.2017 - Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
23.06.2017 - Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13
23.06.2017 - Scuderia Toro Rosso mechanics
22.06.2017 - Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB13
22.06.2017 - Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB13
22.06.2017 - Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13

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March 17, 2014 11:46 AM

They are the most expensive powerplants in F1 and currently the worst. I'd be looking for a discount next year as Renault's incompetence will hurt these teams financially.

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