A year after Daniel Ricciardo’s sensational win Red Bull experienced a tough time in Montreal, with the Aussie struggling home in 13th and team mate Daniil Kvyat managing only ninth.
Team boss Christian Horner stressed that the circuit demonstrated how far behind Renault currently is.
“You have got a Force India and Lotus that probably haven’t been touched since Melbourne and it is just a different race,” said Horner. “The power unit influence is highlighted more than anywhere here; and unfortunately the next race in Austria is probably the most dependent circuit on the calendar.
“The emphasis is on power unit of the three elements of power unit, chassis and driver, even if you have the chassis and driver bit it doesn’t compensate for the power unit. So it is significant and very difficult to over ride.”
Horner is hoping that the situation improves: “I think that with what is being discussed for 2017 when the chassis will become more of a factor, that will be a positive thing. And hopefully over time, these engines will converge in performance, but I think Ferrari have done a super job and thrown an awful lot of time, effort and resource at closing that gap and have demonstrated that it is possible. I take heart from that and I am hopeful that Renault can make the same commitment to bridge that gap.
“The frustrating thing with the power unit is the lead times are just so long. There are some important tests going on over the next two weeks in Viry on the dyno and they will have a significant impact for next year. Or at least a direction. It is a big two weeks behind the scenes at Viry Chatillon.”
Horner’s main concern is that unlike this year after the start of the 2016 season no development will allowed – until a small window opens in the winter of 2016-17. RBR is still pushing to have the rules changes to allow in-season development.
“From Renault’s perspective, it is the worst thing for them. Because that is it then. The engines are effectively frozen forever after. So if you have missed it by February 28, the scale of difference is unachievable in that timeframe, so really as these regulations still are relatively immature, it would be sensible as this year to allow development in the season.”