After the 2016 Formula 1 season’s opening Grand Prix, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo confessed his team is expecting a power unit upgrade from Renault by the seventh round.
That is the Canadian Grand Prix, which will take place in Montreal on June 12th.
Ricciardo was asked by Autosport if he thought more performance could be extracted from the TAG Heuer-badged Renault unit.
“I do, but we’re not talking a massive step yet. When you’ve already got x-hundred amount of horsepower and you get five or 10 extra, it’s not a world of difference. You don’t really feel an extra kick when you put your foot down.”
“But I do feel like sort of top end, at the end of the straight, it just seems to run more, so it has a bit more legs in the last quarter of the straight.”
What Ricciardo is referring to is exactly the type of thing that might keep you out of DRS range if you’ve got a Mercedes or a Ferrari closing in. Even though a car with a more powerful engine should always prevail, not losing your position on a certain lap can have major effects on how your race strategy will unfold.
“Once we get to – at the moment we’re talking sort of Montreal – we should have a proper step. And then hopefully I get some whiplash and some good g-forces through my neck!”
Even team principal Christian Horner agrees that Renault has made clear progress with their power unit, which ultimately was a pretty big disappointment last season.
“The power unit has definitely made progress over the winter. There is still a long way to go but it’s great that, particularly in race conditions which is what we saw in testing, there has been progress in performance.”