Horner: No Renault power unit updates until Russia

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Red Bull Racing chief Christian Horner is not expecting the team to receive any updates for its Renault power unit until the Russian Grand Prix in October.

Red Bull has endured a difficult first half of the 2015 Formula 1 season, with many of the issues with its RB11 car stemming from the Renault power unit.

The problems have been grave enough to prompt team owner Dietrich Mateschitz and advisor Helmut Marko to issue a quit threat over Renault’s lack of performance.

Although the French marque has made some progress in recent races, there is still some uncertainty about the future of its relationship with Red Bull and sister team Toro Rosso.

All engine suppliers in F1 are allocated tokens to spend on updates across the course of the season in a bid to improve the power unit.

Mercedes and Ferrari have both made some improvements since the beginning of the season, but Horner confirmed on Friday in Hungary that Renault would not be using any of its tokens until the Russian Grand Prix in October.

“I don’t think there is anything scheduled now before Sochi,” Horner said.

“That probably is the earliest that we are going to see any form of development or use of the tokens, so the engines we’ve got at the moment are what we’re having to live with for the time being.”

“So engines four and five of what the drivers have been using between Friday and Sunday racing. Unfortunately [Daniel] Ricciardo has now lost engine four, so he’s only got engine five, that came into service for the first time in Austria, to get him through the next few races.

“So only time will tell as to whether we can get to Sochi or not without incurring another penalty before introducing an upgraded unit.”

When asked if some form of Mercedes engine would be an option for 2016, Horner reaffirmed Red Bull’s existing partnership with Renault which lasts until the end of next season.

“We have an agreement with Renault to the end of next year and of course as a partner, we’re expecting them to enable us to run in a competitive manner,” Horner said.

“In order to do that, we need a competitive engine. Of course, Renault need that more than anybody as well for both of their customer teams.”

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.