Renault is on course to provide a series of updates for its Formula 1 teams for the next test in Bahrain.
After a difficult first pre-season test at Jerez, when all the Renault-powered teams suffered reliability issues, the French car manufacturer has been working hard at its base to get on top of its problems.
Its efforts now appear to have paid off, with upgrades trialled on the dyno at Viry-Chatillon allowing Lotus to complete the maximum 100km mileage allowance during its shakedown at Jerez last weekend. That run was in contrast to the kind of troubles that Red Bull, Caterham and Toro Rosso encountered during the Jerez test.
The Lotus debut run of its E22, which took place during two promotional filming days last week, was viewed by many as a key indication of how much Renault had improved after the first test. The fact that the latest configuration of power unit was deployed without any reliability problems has given Renault Sport F1 some cause for optimism about an improved situation for its teams next week.
Renault has confirmed that the updates on the Lotus power unit included minor hardware changes, software bug fixes and calibration improvements. The lessons learned from the Lotus shakedown will be applied for the final specification of power unit that will be given to its teams for the next test in Bahrain.
Under the terms of F1’s testing regulations, which limit promotional days to being used only for marketing reasons, Renault was unable to trial any specific new developments during the Lotus “filming” days. It was allowed to run upgrades that had already been validated at its headquarters, however.
Renault’s focus is now on delivering its teams with a power unit that will allow them to run reliably and in a fully competitive form for the crucial final tests in Bahrain.