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.

Make sure to follow all of Friday’s Indy 500 ‘Carb Day’ action on NBCSN from Indianapolis

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It’s known as “Carburetor Day” – or in its simplest term, just “Carb Day.”

But the final day of on-track action Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway before Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 is so much more.

Especially on NBCSN, which will have wall-to-wall live coverage starting Friday morning.

Here’s how Friday’s schedule breaks down:

  • 11 a.m. ET: Carb Day kicks off with the final practice for Sunday’s Indy 500. The session will last one hour in length.
  • 12 p.m. ET: We’re going racing! Strap in for coverage of the Indy Lights’ Freedom 100 on the famous Brickyard.
  • 1:30 p.m. ET: We’ll have coverage of the annual IndyCar Pit Stop Challenge. Which teams have the best – and most importantly, fastest and accurate – pit crews? Team Penske has won 10 of the last 12, including the last two years edging out Schmidt Peterson Motorsports each time. Who can potentially beat them this year?
  • 3:30 p.m. ET: We’ll have our annual Motorsports Special. Among segments included will be:

    1) 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi will discuss how it used to upset him when people suggested he “backed into” his big win and how he didn’t really feel vindicated until he qualified on the front row for last year’s race.
    2) Defending 500 winner Takuma Sato, the first Japanese driver to ever win at Indianapolis, discusses the impact of his big win personally and professionally, particularly back in his native land.
    3) An essay by Robin Miller on Stefan Wilson giving up his ride last year to allow Fernando Alonso to race for Andretti Autosport.

Check your local listings for replay times.

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