Renault surprised by Formula 1 engine gains in 2016

Renault engine chief Remi Taffin has admitted the French manufacturer was surprised by the gains it made during the 2016 Formula 1 season

Renault surprised by Formula 1 engine gains in 2016

Renault endured a torrid time during 2014 and '15, suffering a multitude of performance and reliability problems with its V6 turbo hybrid.

But it increased investment and was much stronger last season, with a solid start to the year built on by gains made with updates introduced in-season.

Though its works team struggled after a late takeover of Lotus, customer Red Bull flourished and ended the year second in the constructors' championship behind Mercedes.

Italy's high-speed Monza circuit was a good barometer, as the stats below show, with Renault-powered cars closer in qualifying, the race and in the speed traps.

"We're sort of surprised that things have changed but we are now in a normal situation, so we should not be surprised," Taffin told Autosport.

"We've actually improved the product, it's reliable and we can work on it and get the most out of it."

Reliability was a cornerstone of Renault's season, which Taffin says in turn allowed those back at its base in Viry to push for performance.

"It has allowed most of the people back in Viry to have a free mind, be creative and go forwards.

"It's opposite to looking what's going to happen tomorrow, we can look a bit further forward.

"When you draw up a plan in the winter, you just follow the plan and try to bring as much performance as you can.

"We're happy with the year.

"We know that we still have some work to do and we've got the strong baseline now."

Taffin added the boost in form has inspired a return of confidence among the staff at Viry.

"We never stopped working all together but you could say confidence is back," he said.

"When you say 'yes, we will bring power' and you deliver on track and you can measure the power, that's job done.

"There are no more question marks on 'are we going to achieve that?'.

"That's encouraging and is the sort of thing we need to keep working on to get the most out of the group."

RENAULT ENGINES AT THE ITALIAN GP 2015-16
Based on best performing Renault-powered car

QUALIFYING GAP TO POLE
2015: Renault +2.249s (Hamilton v Sainz)
2016: Renault +1.254s (Hamilton v Ricciardo)

RACE RESULT
2015: Ricciardo 8th, +1 lap
2016: Ricciardo 5th, +45.295s

SPEED TRAP
2015:
Qualifying - 340.9km/h, Kvyat (-13.7km/h)
Race - 347.9km/hr, Verstappen (-10.4km/h)

2016:
Qualifying - 352.2km/h, Magnussen (-5.4km/h)
Race - 356.4km/h, Ricciardo (-2.6km/h)

shares
comments
Why Alonso needs to think like Federer
Previous article

Why Alonso needs to think like Federer

Next article

Ferrari counting on piston innovation and 3D printing for F1 2017

Ferrari counting on piston innovation and 3D printing for F1 2017
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Plus

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded MAURICE HAMILTON of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing Plus

Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing

It has been a long time coming but Audi’s arrival in Formula 1 is finally on the horizon for 2026. But it won’t be its first foray into grand prix racing, as the German manufacturer giant has a history both long and enthralling

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination Plus

The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination

After a tooth and nail and, at times, toxic Formula 1 world championship scrap last year, Max Verstappen's march to a second consecutive title has been the exact opposite. But has he really changed in 2022? Here's a dive into what factors have played a crucial role, both inside the Verstappen camp and elsewhere, in the Dutch driver's domination

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward Plus

Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward

Lewis Hamilton’s words in a recent Vanity Fair interview define both his world-view and his approach to this season: one of perpetual struggle against adversity. As GP RACING explains, that’s what Lewis feeds off – and why, far from being down and nearly out, he’s using his unique skillset to spearhead Mercedes’ revival…

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight Plus

The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight

The pecking order in 2022's Formula 1 season may look pretty static as the season draws to a close, but the unique nature of the cost cap means that preparation for next season takes precedence. New developments are being pushed back to 2023 - which could mask the technical development war ongoing...

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
How one retro event could prove an alluring prospect for Formula 1 stars Plus

How one retro event could prove an alluring prospect for Formula 1 stars

While Formula 1 drivers taking part in retro events can prove costly, as Charles Leclerc discovered at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix, the Goodwood Revival could prove an interesting experiment for today's stars. As the event's own Tourist Trophy race proves it means serious business, a race for current F1 drivers feels as though it’s in line with where the event is currently at

Goodwood Revival
Sep 21, 2022
The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall Plus

The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall

Looking back to the early races of 2022 and Ferrari’s challenge to Red Bull and Max Verstappen was going better than many expected. But it has lost so much ground a surprise rival can even pip Charles Leclerc to runner-up in the standings if given the chance

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2022
How Tyrrell and Stewart forged parallel paths to F1 stardom Plus

How Tyrrell and Stewart forged parallel paths to F1 stardom

The young Ken Tyrrell was barely 
aware of motor racing – until a trip with 
his village football team to the British
 Grand Prix set him on the road to
 becoming a Formula 1 constructor. MAURICE HAMILTON details the humble beginning of Tyrrell and how Ken linked up with Jackie Stewart…

Formula 1
Sep 19, 2022