Renault believe the new aerodynamic parts test in Bahrain this week will improve their race pace, which hasn’t been able to match their qualifying performance so far.
Nico Hulkenberg qualified seventh for the last two rounds but slipped back in both races. He and team mate Jolyon Palmer have not finished higher than they started in any of the three grands prix so far.
Hulkenberg said he “really wrestled” with the car in Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix and “two points were the best we could do on the strategy we ran.”
“We are a lot better in qualifying,” he admitted, “but over the 57 laps of the race we exposed some of the areas where we need to improve.”
The team’s new driver for 2017 had pinned his hopes on aerodynamic updates for the RS17 which he ran during Tuesday’s test. Sporting director Alan Permane said the results of the test were positive.
“We’re very happy with the new aero parts we tried as they bring a tangible benefit to the R.S.17 in terms of general pace and, in particular, race pace,” he said.
Test driver Sergey Sirotkin was impressed by his first run in a 2017-specification Formula One car yesterday.
“It was great to be out in action as I’ve been waiting for this day a very long time,” he said. “I enjoyed every second of being in the car, even if the programme was not the most exciting for the driver.”
“The car is amazingly quick and I noticed the difference in grip immediately from the previous generation. That said, you soon get used to the extra speed. I can’t wait to get to Sochi.”
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