Jolyon Palmer, Renault, Sochi Autodrom, 2016

Renault’s ‘B-spec’ power unit to debut at Spain test

2016 Spanish Grand Prix

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Renault’s highly-anticipated ‘B-spec’ power unit will run for the first time in the test following next week’s Spanish Grand Prix, the team has confirmed.

The team and engine customer Red Bull, which brands its power units as TAG Heuer, is anticipating a substantial gain from their latest upgrade.

Technical director Nick Chester said the new power unit was part of a range of components which would appear while the team is at the Circuit de Catalunya.

“For the race we have an updated rear wing as well as some updates for the front wing,” he said.

“For the test we have a full raft of things to try; new suspension, further aero updates over various areas of the car, some mods to cooling as well as evaluating the B-spec power unit, so we should have a full two days.”

Jolyon Palmer will also have a new chassis during the upcoming race weekend. The RS16-03 monocoque was shaken down by the team during their filming day at Silverstone this week.

Chester said he was encouraged by the team’s performance in Russia which he felt was the best for them since the first race of the year.

“In qualifying there are some approaches used like a fast-slow-fast sequence of laps to try to get both front and rear tyres in the correct working window,” he said. “We made good progress in this regard.”

“Then for the race it was a real positive to see a Melbourne-level of race pace return.”

2016 Spanish Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
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27 comments on “Renault’s ‘B-spec’ power unit to debut at Spain test”

  1. Jimmy Price
    6th May 2016, 17:28

    if this upgrade brings performance it will be the first time in the V6 era Renault has delivered an actual upgrade. Only 3 years into the formula, not bad Renault, not bad…

    (and of course with the help of Illien)

    1. They took a while to swallow their pride. The 2016 engine alone is a big step up as it is almost as good as Ferrari’s. I said a couple days ago that I’d be surprised to see Merc win at Catalunya, now I’m more than sure of to the bookies.

      1. Merc used to have good advantage at Catalunya, not sure why you would be surprised if they win.

      2. @peartree, you are aware that Renault are making clear that the engine parts will be tested after the Spanish GP, giving Red Bull no performance advantage whatsoever for the race weekend?

        Besides, in the past two years Mercedes have taken some of the most crushingly dominant victories to ever be recorded at the Circuit de Catalunya. In 2014 Ricciardo, the first non-Mercedes driver, finished 49 seconds behind Hamilton, whilst in 2015 Rosberg managed to bear Vettel by 45 seconds even though Vettel was pushing hard in an attempt to beat Hamilton whilst Rosberg was taking it easy.
        The last time that a driver recorded a comparable winning margin over his rivals was back in the 1998 Spanish GP, when Hakkinen won and the nearest non McLaren car, which was Schumacher’s Ferrari, was 47 seconds down the road.

        Mercedes have produced a car this year that seems to have a comparable, if not even greater, performance advantage than in previous years. Furthermore, the analysts at Autosport, who claim to have seen GPS data of the cars, suggest that Mercedes appear to have retained their performance advantage through high speed corners, and the apex speed of a number of corners at the Circuit de Catalunya would favour Mercedes.

        As Boudi says, it would be a far bigger surprise if somebody was able to outpace Mercedes this weekend – the W07 would seem to be quite well suited to this particular circuit, with the pre-season tests indicating that Mercedes still have quite a bit in hand over their rivals.

        1. I would go as far as saying that none of their rivals will be within a second of the Mercedes that takes pole position on Saturday. Unless a mishap occurs or too many safety car periods occur, I would expect the leading Mercdes to finish at least 30 seconds in front of the next closest non Mercedes car.

    2. Yes there engine have absolutely not progressed since the the V6 era but yet everyone is happy with the progress this year… End of season upgrade last year didn’t bring the expected perf increase (in brazil but only a partial upgrade if my memory serve me well), other than thatI don’t know what you are talking about.

  2. Please be good. Please be good. Please be good.

  3. everyone is hoping for a better engine, they are talking up a storm about it so I really hope they are not setting themselves up for failure. Think about it, just last year RB said thanks but no thanks to the upgrade that Renault had, I know its different this year so hopefully something positive really comes out of it!

  4. It is a good upgrade for renault if the power levels don’t drop and reliability doesn’t become worse.

  5. Better Renault engine, 1 and 2 finishes for RBR

    1. I thought RBR had TAG engines…

      1. thatscienceguy
        7th May 2016, 4:06

        RBR use Renault engines with a fancy sticker on them.

  6. Good to see these upgrades… I lime them Renault team. Hopefully they will now move more firmly in to the midfield…. Like next to McLaren.

    1. I think they’ll bump Mclaren down the order… Back to the firm position of lower midfield.

  7. The new engine has been planned for the Canadian GP, but I do wonder what if they manage to succesfully run it at the Barcelona test. Would they try and fast-forward it to Monaco? It could potentially help Red Bull challenge for the win/podium, which would put Renault and it’s Viry operation in a much better spotlight then it has recently been in.

    1. Alex Limpkin
      10th May 2016, 13:12

      Why would they introduce a new engine on a track where it matters the least?

  8. “Verstappen isn’t just good. He isn’t just great. If designers can take a car to the edge of what is physically possible, Max Verstappen can make that car dance to the point of appearing to go beyond the realms of what we know to be physically possible.”

    I’m sorry Mr Buxton, but that’s just downright embarrassing. You’ve crossed the line from F1 journalist to schoolgirl crush.

    1. Indeed, you may as well remove journalist from your sentence.

    2. Sviatoslav (@)
      7th May 2016, 16:54

      Wow, if he is that good, why he didn’t destroy Sainz at every race?
      So, we should expect little Max to outpace Ricciardo easily?

      1. What Verstappen did to people think he is so good? I don’t understand all that hype around him.

        1. Money buys a more reliable car too, a pitty Sainz has been kept down at TR.

    3. Mr.Buxton dances on a fine line between reality and delusion, and often crosses in to a dimension far beyond the realistic boundaries of thought.

      Let’s see what that kid can do against Dan. So far he hasn’t proved himself to be any more impressive than Perez in his rookie season.

  9. It’s fawning, I agree, but tone aside it’s not that ridiculous. I remember, I think it was Mark Hughes of Motorsport who tells the story of how Verstappen actually managed to astound his engineers by going faster than their ideal racing lines and time through corners. So in that sense he is driving beyond what was considered possible for his car. People will see.

    1. This was meant in reply to @tdog

      1. Usually we compare how faster a pilot is in relation to it’s partner, it’s the only one that have the same car. Because of that pilots like Riccardo, Alonso or Hamilton are so highly rated. You can’t say the same about Verstapen yet. It’s all relative. You see a lot of people telling Williams have to mediocre drivers just because one is not significantly faster than the other, but what if both of them are good? What if Sainz is just a bad driver and even being a bad driver still do better than Verstappen constantly as we can see in races?

        1. totally agree. I have always said this… ” how do we really know how good an F 1 car is?” what if both drivers are just slow or both drivers aotre quick and they make the car appear super quick.

          the W07 in the hands of F Massa might be slightly above average

    2. And what if it’s all a lie? Marketing? We know how agressive his father is about his career. You need results in race, and in races he didn’t showed us something amazing or much farter beyond the limits of his car.

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