February 1st, 2014 (F1plus/J Leslie).- Rob White, deputy managing director (technical) at Renault Sport F1, says the issues with the French supplier's V6 Turbo power-units have been unacceptable.
Toro Rosso, Caterham and Red Bull Racing all lost crucial track time at the Spanish circuit due to mechanical gremlins with the new engine and ERS system.
Renault-powered teams only completed 151 laps over the course of the four days, in comparison to 875 for Mercedes and 444 for Ferrari. For more stats and facts from the test, go here.
"We have not run enough laps, and when we have they have not been run at an acceptable performance level," White said. "The underlying causes are not straightforward: there isn’t a single component or system that has caused particular trouble.
"A number of related things have been troublesome, principally concerning the control and operation of the various sub-systems of the Power Unit within the car. For example on the first run day, we had problems with a sub-system within the Energy Store that did not directly concern either the battery nor the operation of the battery – it is an electronic part that was in the same housing as the Energy Store.
"We subsequently had problems with turbocharger and boost control systems with knock-on effects on the associated engine management systems, subsequently provoking mechanical failures."
However, he is confident that the issues will be resolved by the second winter test in Bahrain, which takes place later this month.
"At this stage every kilometre is hugely valuable. We recognize that when the cars have run, they are not running at an acceptable level.
"We are a long way from the type of operation we had planned and prepared for – largely as a result of the workarounds we have implemented – but all the information is useful.
"In dealing with the issues we have moved further away from the configuration we were comfortable with, which has resulted in the relatively slow times, but the running has given us a vastly greater understanding of the issues we face.
"We absolutely expect to have a more definitive solution in place for the next session in Bahrain."
Asked if he is still in favour with the new-for-2014 regulations, he replied: "Yes absolutely. The powertrain regulations are a massive challenge but also an opportunity, and are hugely important in placing F1 back at the vanguard of technology. We have the necessary tools and determination to succeed.
"The step we must take to reach an acceptable level of in-car performance is bigger than we would have liked. It is unacceptable that we have not been able to mitigate the problems sufficiently to allow our partners to run at any length.
"We are working hard to correct this in time for Bahrain and aim to make amends there." He concluded.