10 June 2014
F1 Canadian Grand Prix: Renault inspired by Ricciardo breakthrough
Renault Sport's Remi Taffin is hoping that Red Bull's victory in Canada will inspire the marque to raise its game and challenge Mercedes at the front of the F1 field.
Red Bull engine partner Renault is determined to use Daniel Ricciardo's unexpected victory in the Canadian Grand Prix as a catalyst for improved performance over the remainder of the 2014 F1 season.
The Australian snatched his maiden grand prix win by passing Nico Rosberg's Mercedes on with just a couple of laps remaining in the Montreal event, bring to an end the run of six consecutive victories for the German marque.
Mercedes looked set to dominate in Canada as well, with Rosberg and team-mate Lewis Hamilton duelling over the lead until identical problems struck the two W)5 Hybrids. While the team's attempts to combat the issue eventually contributed to Hamilton's retirement, Rosberg soldiered on with a hobbled car, and appeared to be on course for the win until Ricciardo eventually freed himself from behind the Force India of Sergio Perez.
Once in clearer air, the Australian was able to home in on Rosberg, before pulling the decisive move into the chicane with a couple of laps remaining. The victory was not only Ricciardo's first in F1, and the first for Red Bull in 2014, but also the first for the latest Renault engine, designed to meet the drastically-altered regulations mandating turbo-charged V6 power units in place of the old V8s.
"Congratulations to all at Red Bull and to Daniel on his first win – we hope this will start a trend!" Renault Sport's Remi Taffin enthused, "We are pleased and proud to be part of this result. We have worked extremely hard to overcome our reliability issues, working in close collaboration with the team on and off track to extract the most from of our package.”
Renault, which also supplies Toro Rosso, Lotus and Caterham, has been the engine provider to beat in recent seasons, helping Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull to four consecutive driver and constructor championship doubles, but has struggled to match the performance of the new Mercedes unit in 2014. Taffin, however, is hoping that Ricciardo's victory can act as a spur for a stronger second half of the season.
"Now we have shown a Renault-powered car can cross the finish line in first position, we will try and level up our performance to give our drivers the capability to race at the front from the start to the chequered flag,” he insisted.
"Looking at where we were at the start of the year, we have come a very long way in a very short time. Although our competitors experienced problems, we were there to take the result in the end and get the first victory for the Renault Energy F1-2014, which will be a great motivator for all at Viry."
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