Today (Friday) marks the deadline set by the FIA for Formula 1′s three engine suppliers to freeze development of their new V6 power units.
However, the French manufacturer Renault is calling for this deadline to be extended for a couple of months as it struggles to overcome the issues seen with it’s new turbo-powered unit.
With the four teams using the French marque yet to complete a lap-time even close to their German and Italian powered rivals as well as struggle to string barely 20 laps together let alone a full race distance, it is no surprise that Renault are not in a position to meet the midnight deadline.
It is understood a formal request for the extension of the deadline has been made by Renault with the company’s CEO Carlos Ghosn personally meeting with the FIA president Jean Todt to discuss the severity of the situation. The request will be discussed at the meeting of the Strategy Group in London on Friday.
Meanwhile Renault’s biggest customer, current quadruple world champions Red Bull, are expecting to merely survive the opening race in Australia in two weeks time.
More overheating issues left Daniel Ricciardo stranded in the garage for much of the afternoon after a positive morning, but the Australian was his usual upbeat self when speaking afterwards.
“From the outside, it looks like we are not doing many laps and that the times are not good,” he is quoted by Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.
“But as a team we are confident that we will be with the frontrunners (in 2014),” Ricciardo insisted.
“It is difficult to really predict what will happen, but we can say that we will not dominate in Melbourne as we did at the end of last season.”
That positivity was not shared however by team advisor Helmut Marko who merely expects to “survive” the opening race.
The Austrian claimed that such are the problems, the RB10 has often run a reduced engine map which costs 165 bhp or about 30 kph on the straights.
“That’s why we have sent a taskforce to France,” revealed Marko, referring to Renault’s Viry headquarters.
“Our people have just helped Renault write a new software programme.”
Renault Sport boss Remi Taffin does insist however that engine supplier has made big progress.
“Yes, some problems we are yet to understand,” Remi Taffin acknowledged, according to the Russian website f1news.ru.
“But over the past six years, approximately 95 per cent of the parts in the V8 engine were refined compared to the first version,” he said.
“We have made a big step forward between the first test and now with the new power unit. Yes we’re a little behind schedule, we still have certain problems, but they are gradually being resolved,” Taffin added.
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