Spain is 'marker in sand' for Renault F1 team
By Alan Baldwin
LONDON (Reuters) - Next week's Spanish Grand Prix will be a "marker in the sand" for the Renault Formula One team as the start of their development program, according to managing director Cyril Abiteboul.
Renault, who took over the struggling Lotus team last December, head for Barcelona after scoring their first points of the season in Russia last weekend when Denmark's Kevin Magnussen finished seventh.
Spain is traditionally the start of the European season, although Russia has moved ahead of it on this year's calendar, with teams bringing upgrades and using their 'motorhomes' for the first time after the opening long-haul races.
Abiteboul said the result in Sochi was due to a "cocktail of circumstances" and it would be tough to repeat the performance in Spain.
"However, Barcelona is the start of our development program and we will see some new developments coming through in the race, with several others scheduled for the test afterwards," he said.
"We look at this race as a marker in the sand: the exit point of our recovery from the takeover and the first race as ‘our’ team. It will start small but I’m confident we will gain momentum as we go forward."
Technical director Nick Chester said Renault would have an updated rear wing and some new bits on the front for the race before trying a range of updates in a subsequent test at the Circuit de Catalunya.
They will also use the test to evaluate a new version of their engine that is scheduled to debut in Canada in June and could make Renault and customer team Red Bull Racing much more competitive. Continued...