Renault set to evaluate B-spec engine at post-Spanish GP test

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Renault is set to evaluate a raft of updates for its R.S.16 Formula 1 car during next weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix before trialling a B-spec engine at the post-race test.

Renault returned to F1 as a constructor in 2016 after six years away, taking over the old Lotus operation at Enstone in the winter break.

Its first four races have offered more lows than highs, with its first points only coming courtesy of Kevin Magnussen last weekend in Russia.

However, the team is pushing on with update plans to move up the grid, with a raft of updates planned over the coming race and test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya which should suit the car.

“For the race we have an updated rear wing as well as some updates for the front wing,” team technical director Nick Chester confirmed.

“For the test we have a full raft of things to try; new suspension, further aero updates over various areas of the car, some mods to cooling as well as evaluating the B-spec power unit, so we should have a full two days.

“We fared decently in relative terms at pre-season testing [in Barcelona] and when you look at the qualities required for a handy car around the circuit there are no initial fears from our side.

“That’s not to say we wouldn’t welcome some more downforce, but there’s potential as we currently stand.”

Chester also spoke about the progress made between China and Russia by the team, and believes that this upward trend can continue in Spain.

“In China there were a lot of factors that worked against us and in contrast, in Russia there were a lot of factors that were beneficial to us,” Chester said.

“It illustrated the importance of having a completely straightforward weekend with no issues to deal with – whether in the practice sessions or in the race. Getting all the data from practice is important: we did that in Russia so our engineers were better placed to make the best set-up calls.

“On top of that we were able to show decent race pace and capitalise on the events around us in the race and get a strong result. Kevin drove a brilliant race with other cars breathing down his neck; he did everything he could and seventh was the result.

“On the other side of the garage, Jolyon was much happier with his car so we’re in a good place heading to Spain.”