Renault has conceded its much anticipate engine upgrade did not 'deliver the expected improvements in performance' as Daniel Ricciardo couldn't haul himself back into the points from his grid penalty.
Renault spent 11 of its available 12 tokens on the new engine, projecting an improvement of around two tenths of a second over the existing power unit.
However, Ricciardo was left unimpressed by the new power unit after he proved slower than Red Bull team-mate Danill Kvyat using the erstwhile engine in terms of both lap time and top speed during qualifying. Proceeding to take a grid penalty for the engine change, Ricciardo could only recover to 11th place at the finish.
Coming as Red Bull reportedly nears a reconciliation with Renault over a new engine deal, director of operations Remi Taffin admits it has been a disappointing roll-out.
“We tried out the new ICE upgrades in Daniel Ricciardo's car. The engine ran reliably, but unfortunately it did not deliver the expected improvements in performance. All the same, the reliable running ensured we gathered a lot of data to analyse how we can move forward to the final race of the year and going into the winter.
“On track we've had a solid but unspectacular Grand Prix,” added managing director Cyril Abiteboul. “We debuted the upgraded ICE with Daniel [Ricciardo], knowing that we would have to take a heavy grid penalty for relatively minimal performance gains.
“It was crucial, however, for us to do this to gather as much information as possible for the next stage in our development plans. The upgrade ran reliably but we must now look at the data accumulated from the weekend to establish its full performance potential, and adjust our development strategy accordingly.”