In an interview with the media yesterday, the Renault F1 Team expects to continue the progress it has made this season with its power unit over the winter to make it even more competitive in 2017.
The new power unit regulations proved a struggle for Renault initially, with 2015 seeing an uncompetitive engine lead to a falling out with main customer Red Bull. Having returned to the sport as a full constructor this season, Renault has also made clear steps forward with its power unit and managing director Cyril Abiteboul is confident 2017 will see further progress. Abiteboul said the following:-
‘Abu Dhabi is our final Grand Prix in our rookie season as Renault Sport Formula One Team. It has been a tough 20 races so far on track, as we expected, but for us the story has been our real progress made behind the scenes.
‘In terms of our power unit this season we have taken a great step forward in terms of performance and reliability and that is something we expect to continue in 2017. In terms of the infrastructure at Enstone we’re making massive strides with our expansion programme progressing well. The first fruits of this expansion will be seen in next year’s car, the R.S.17.”
With one more race remaining this season, Abiteboul further stated that he is also targeting a strong end to the year for Renault in what will be Kevin Magnussen’s final race for the team. Abiteboul added the following:-
‘On track in Abu Dhabi we want a strong and positive race to end the season. There will be a lot of attention at the front of the field as the Drivers’ Championship is decided, but for us a strong end to the year would be a good endorsement of all the hard work wrought over the last twelve months. We have faith that both Kevin and Jolyon [Palmer] will deliver what’s expected of them for the final time this season and for Kevin we wish him well for the future.’