Renault frustrated by lack of recognition

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Renault have revealed their frustration at the lack of recognition they have received despite playing a role in Red Bull’s recent success as engine suppliers.

Chief operating officer Carlos Taveres spoke about his reservations in an interview with Autocar at the Geneva motorshow.

“We are frustrated by the lack of recognition we get for beating the likes of Ferrari and Mercedes. We are world champions. We are able to sell our engines to the teams because of that, but we do not get enough recognition beyond that.”

Despite withdrawing their works team from Formula One at the end of 2010, Renault have continued to supply engines to Red Bull, Lotus, Williams and Caterham, and they have met considerable success in the last three seasons with the Milton Keynes-based team. Tavares spoke of Renault’s good working relationship with the teams.

“Frank Williams himself is highly respected within Renault. Lotus we have historic ties with, through the Enstone operation, while Caterham is our joint venture partner on the Alpine sports car project.

“All three of these teams have a specific link back to Renault, and that counts. Perhaps one day we can reach the same point with Red Bull.”

With 2013 marking the end of the V8 era, the next few years will be an important few seasons for Renault. They will be keen on strengthening these partnerships for the introduction of V6 engines next season, but if Lotus or Williams could establish themselves as Red Bull’s nearest challengers this season, it could herald the recognition of Renault as the leading engine supplier in Formula One.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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