Date: 12th March 2014 at 9:20am
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Red Bull Racing are not the only Renault powered team expecting a difficult weekend in Australia.

The V8 engine era of Formula One ended with Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull dominating the final races of the 2013 season.

Whilst the German was crowned a quadruple F1 world champion with nine consecutive victories, the best of the rest mantle often fell to Lotus.

Romain Grosjean stood on the podium four times during the final six races of the season as Lotus ended the campaign on a high, despite Kimi Raikkonen announcing his decision to quit Lotus for Ferrari and to then miss the final two races of the season due to injury and subsequent surgery.

But the switch to hybrid V6 power trains have left the Renault powered cars on the back foot.

Especially Lotus who missed the entire first test in Jerez.

They put together some running in Bahrain, but only completing 8 days from a possible 12, has left them behind the other teams in terms of mileage completed.

‘I think the first couple of races will be difficult, Hopefully when we get to race three, we’ll be in a much better position. It depends really on the fixes Renault Sport are going to bring and how quickly that comes in.’ Lotus Technical Director Nick Chester told Sky Sports.

Whilst the FIA homologation deadline has passed, which in theory means an end to all engine development for the remainder of the season. Chester believes that Renault will be able to make changes to upgrade the power train to improve reliability.

‘Homologation means we can’t upgrade the performance but we can bring in revisions for reliability, And that’ll happen for all manufacturers during the year. Even manufacturers that have done more mileage than us are still going to be finding things they’ll have to fix.’

But whilst Renault have snatched the headlines in terms of lacking reliability, Chester believes it will also be a concern for Ferrari and Mercedes powered teams.

‘I think all the teams are worried about it actually, Not just Renault Sport-powered teams but Ferrari and Mercedes-powered teams. If you have a certain problem around the power unit, like with the energy recovery system, you can end up needing three or four hours to fix it.

‘So anybody could have a problem for P1 and not get out for P2. Or if you have a problem in the P3 session, getting out for qualifying could be quite tricky.’


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