Cyril Abiteboul, Renault, Albert Park, 2016

Renault made ‘substantial step’ without spending tokens

2016 F1 seasonPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul says his team has been able to make significant gains over the winter without cutting far into its allocation of engine development tokens.

Speaking during today’s team principals press conference Abiteboul said Renault, which has used fewer tokens than its rivals so far this year, stands to make further progress later in the year.

“I think that this is a demonstration that we have used little tokens but I hope in connection to the fact that we have made a substantial step in terms of performance will be actual evidence that there is no connection between token use and performance,” he said.

“You can use a lot of tokens and bring absolutely nothing in terms of lap time, which actually is maybe something we did last year,” Abiteboul added. “I think the whole debate of tokens should go away and we should focus on performance.”

However Abiteboul conceded the team would use more of its development allocation later in the season as it bids to narrow the gap to the leading Ferrari and Mercedes power units.

“There is a plan to use more tokens during the course of the season, that’s the plan and we have made lots of comments about that,” he said. “Hopefully it will happen, both for the benefit of the Renault works team and also Red Bull.”

Renault has not explored its car’s performance so far this weekend according to technical director Nick Chester.

“Given the weather conditions we concentrated on shaking down the chassis and procedural matters rather than performance,” he said. “The weather looks better for tomorrow so we’ll likely have a pretty full FP3.”

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18 comments on “Renault made ‘substantial step’ without spending tokens”

  1. I really hope things go well for Renault, and I don’t think I’m the only one.

    1. So do I. I think we should look at this year as very much a rebuilding year.

      1. Maybe 2016 is for Renault (and RBR?) what 2015 was for Ferrari.

        1. What was 2015 for Ferrari?

          1. Resurection!

          2. 2015 was the year before Ferrari catched Mercedes.

  2. Okay, I know this is just a bit of tin foil hattery, but it just came to me after doing some Ilmor googling and then looking at that infiniti logo on Abiteboul’s jacket reminding me of all the politics in play in F1.

    What if all that Renault bashing from Red Bull last year was actually to help Abiteboul get a team back… Abiteboul gets to go to corporate saying “look, we need a team, it’s unacceptable for Red Bull to bash our engine constantly when we could be doing better on track ourselves.” Then they go their own upgrade path of the engine last year to also be able to convince the bosses that “we need to give this Ilmor guy more money” knowing he can make a truly world class engine now when they have full $$ on board and their own team to reap the benefits.

    1. You need to work on expressing yourself better. I can barely make out what exactly you are trying to say.

      1. Fair enough, brevity is not my strong suit.

        I wonder how one can practice that, it is annoying. Can’t use twitter if I try >.<

        1. Just short-to-moderately long sentences, which make sense on their own, as much as they do in the whole paragraph. :)

        2. Don’t worry Tristan, I can understand what you’re trying to say.

  3. Joao Pitol (@)
    18th March 2016, 15:41

    “Renault made ‘substantial step’ without spending tokens”
    ““I think that this is a demonstration that we have used little tokens”

    Sorry I dont get it. did they spend tokens or not ?

    1. They are not mutually exclusive. They used some tokens and also made substantial gains that didnt require spending more tokens.

      1. @dantheman @rethla They just used their tokens very well. Not many spend – substantial gains. The articles title is just factually incorrect.

  4. Apex Assassin
    18th March 2016, 17:41

    What a joke. They are so far behind the curve that even Honda will surpass their performance. No wonder Red Bull wanted to get away so badly.

    1. Except Red Bull didn’t.

    2. They are so far behind regarding McLaren-Honda only when you look in opposite direction. I mean from behind… It’s so obvious that RB12 is much faster car than McLaren MP4/31. Bringing the subject down to basics it means that v = s/t -> t = s/v I learned this in primary school… McLaren MP4/31 needs more time for the same distance compared to RB12. Meaning it’s slower car of these two. Mark my words: Red Bull is smelling blood and they’ll be ahead of Ferrari very soon thanks to their good work and RS efforts as well.

    3. I believe they had a very good engine last year, but I don’t know why that didn’t translate into performance. I would expect this year’s engine to be good as well. Hopefully this is an indication they are able to get better performance as well. I don’t see the Renault engine being inferior to the Honda engine.

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