Renault is anticipating more problems at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, admits head of track operations Remi Taffin.
There were numerous issues for Renault to deal with during the Australian Grand Prix weekend, with Sebastian Vettel's early retirement the most high-profile of them. Both Lotus and Caterham cars also failed to finish the race as only three Renault-powered cars went the distance, but Taffin belives the engine manufacturer is in a much stronger position to react to problems at Sepang.
“After a difficult race in Australia we are really looking forward to Malaysia,” Taffin said. “We had several issues across the cars in Melbourne but we have recreated the problems in the dyno at Viry. Most are fixed and the remaining will be under control by Friday in Sepang. While we anticipate further issues may occur we are much more able to react quickly to minimize their impact.”
However, Taffin also said the issues were likely to come as a result of Malaysia becoming one of the hardest tests on the calendar this year.
“Sepang is one of the circuits whose technical requirements will change under the new regulations. In the V8 era the circuit sat towards the middle of the table for the challenge it posed for engines but now it will be one of the toughest races of the year.
“Of the six main components of the Power Unit [PU], the internal combustion engine will be under the most pressure in Malaysia. The humidity in Sepang made it a little bit easier on normally aspirated engines since power comes down as the water content in the air increases. This means we were generally able to offset the impact of the two long straights.
“This year we won't have this luxury. With a turbo engine the air intake is controlled at all times regardless of ambient conditions so those long straights will really start to hurt. As a result Sepang will become a lot less forgiving as twice a lap the PUs will be flat out, with the turbo revving at close to 100,000rpm for over 10secs.”