Kevin Magnussen believes Renault's engine upgrade is complete enough to be used from the very next Monaco Grand Prix following a successful test run in Spain.
Renault's much vaunted upgrade has been pitched for a debut in the Canadian Grand Prix, with sources suggesting it could deliver as much as a half-second per lap improvement.
Though the gains are predicted to propel Red Bull Racing – which uses Renault power under the TAG Heuer banner – into formidable contenders, the factory Renault team is also expecting a significant boost from the revised unit.
Indeed, though Magnussen says the scale of the speed gain is hard to gauge at full throttle, he says the driveability is a already noticeable improvement.
“The engine feels nice to drive and the drivability is actually better than with the old engine. There's more power, but from the driving point of view it's difficult to feel how fast you're going on the straight. Whether you're going 330kph or 333kph is difficult to feel, but the engineers will have it on the data and they will tell us later on. At the moment the main thing is the power unit is drivable so that we can continue just working as normal.”
“This power unit is actually better than the old one and we haven't had that much time to work on it. Straight away out of the box it was better drivability, so hopefully the power is a good step as well.”
Such is the rate of improvement and the reliability of the unit, Magnussen is hoping Renault rushes through the upgrade to make its debut in Monaco.
“Definitely [I'd like it for Monaco],” he confirmed. “Whether we get it or not, I'd like to have it but I'm not deciding it.”