Renault progress report: We’re incomplete heading to Melbourne

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Ahead of the second Bahrain test last week, Renault Sport’s F1 deputy managing director Rob White said the engine manufacturer had made some strides but was a little bit behind.

But coming out of the test, White was more dramatic in word choice, going so far as to say there are some preparations for Melbourne in two weeks that are “incomplete.”

“We wanted each of our four teams to be able to approach a normal race weekend without having to improvise any of the procedures or operations needed,” he said, in a Q&A with Formula One’s official website. “We can’t escape the fact that we did not complete the entire program with all the teams and that some Melbourne preparations are incomplete.”

White did admit progress, from various short runs and mock qualifying sessions, but Renault struggled to complete mileage overall throughout the entirety of the 12 days of winter testing. White said the team needs to extract more torque from the powerplant.

January’s Jerez test was more a shakedown than it was a chance to collect full data. The two in Bahrain were better, but not by much.

This all leaves the four Renault-powered teams – Red Bull, Lotus, Toro Rosso and Caterham – with more questions than answers heading into Melbourne in just under two weeks time.

Lewis Hamilton enjoys epic trip to NASA’s Johnson Space Center (VIDEO)

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Lewis Hamilton went to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston earlier this week, a thrill for the driver of a land-speed rocket for Mercedes AMG Petronas to then see actual ones.

In today’s pre-race coverage for the United States Grand Prix, NBCSN takes you behind the scenes of the trip in Houston. You can see that video, above.