“I think their (Mercedes) advantage in Bahrain will possibly be larger than it was in Malaysia, because that is quite a power dominated circuit,” said Horner. “It’s a big gap and I think they (Mercedes) have plenty up their sleeve at the moment and I think we’ve done incredibly well to get close to them this weekend. Considering what we’re doing with the engine it’s beyond expectation.”
So just where where is Renault at? And can changes be made around the homologation?
“Renault knows there’s a lot more to come and there are some driveability issues to sort out” added Horner. “A lot of the issues are software related, but it’s a matter of getting all three elements working in harmony; the combustion engine, the turbo and the engine recovery system, which also affects your braking and power delivery.”
The speed issue isn’t confined to Renault either. In chasing the Mercedes powered Force India of Nico Hulkenberg (on a scrubbed set of tyres), Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari struggled to get past in a tow even with his RDS fully open. With Monza speeds being predicted on the straights in Bahrain this is bad news for all non-Mercedes powered teams.