F1: Red Bull engine supplier Renault believe pre-season issues aren't fatal but they remain some way off Mercedes and Ferrari

Red Bull's on-track running time at Jerez was limited to just 21 laps due to persistent engine troubles

Renault believes the issues that have blighted its pre-season are not fatal but the manufacturer admits it remains some distance behind rivals Mercedes and Ferrari.

The power-unit supplier, which has played a key role in the success of Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel over the last four years, endured a disastrous first test in Jerez last month.

Red Bull completed just 21 laps over the four days due to a series of problems, most due to Renault, which has struggled to adapt to the new regulations and introduction of the 1.6-litre turbo-charged V6s.

The French manufacturer encountered hardware and software woes to such an extent it has led to suggestions Red Bull are already on the lookout for a new supplier for 2015.

Remi Taffin, head of Renault Sport F1 track operations, is hopeful a lot of the faults have been corrected ahead of the second test that begins in Bahrain next Wednesday.

 

"We left the first test with a lot to do on our side, mainly facing hardware and software issues," said Taffin in a conference call.

"With regard to the hardware we are now confident the problem we had in the first test has been solved and we will be in a position to go out in Bahrain without all these issues.

"As for the software we've improved our level. We're still behind our initial schedule, but now beyond what we would have done in the first test.

"Again we should be okay in Bahrain to go out on the first day with a car that should be working.

"We are ready to do what we would have liked to have done in the first test, which is to properly test the power unit and give our customers a way to discover their cars."

Red Bull, along with fellow Renault customers Toro Rosso, Lotus and Caterham will naturally face anxious moments when their cars take to the Sakhir circuit.

If there is a repeat of the incidents that unfolded in Jerez then Red Bull and Vettel's hopes of a fifth straight crown could be scuppered before the season starts in Melbourne in four weeks' time.

Taffin added: "There is development on the hardware and software. It's not a fatality, but that's where we are.

"We are trying do everything at the same time, but then sometimes we have to prioritise so it's not easy to have everything altogether at once."

The suggestion is the various components within the power unit are so complicated they are not 'talking to one another' via the software.

"It's not a communication problem. It's how you make them work together," added Taffin.

"It's not like one is not talking to the other, it's basically the language they use.

"We have to get this working, and what we hope to achieve on the first day in Bahrain.

"If the work we have done recently is okay, which we think it is, then we should see the difference in Bahrain, with cars out on track, which will mean we have solved the problem."

With regard to Renault's current level of competitiveness compared to Mercedes and Ferrari, Taffin added: "We're still behind schedule, but it's not a question of months.

"We are at least where we would have sought to be for the first test, so maybe now we are three weeks behind, and now we are on a recovery plan.

"We're now going to go into Bahrain with what we would have liked to have finished the first test with.

"As for our rivals, let's put it this way, they are probably four days ahead of us as they had a proper test in Jerez, and we didn't."

PA

News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'