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No specific weaknesses with Renault chassis

Renault needs to improve its chassis performance across the board rather than in one specific area, according to chief technical officer Bob Bell.

Having only taken over Lotus in December, Renault has started 2016 on the back foot and is yet to score a point in the opening three races. While the power unit has clearly improved since last season, Bell says the chassis is simply lacking development at this stage and needs to be better in all areas.

“We’ve seen a good step forward in performance from the power unit relative to last year and there’s more to come in that area,” Bell said. “The next power unit upgrade will come as a step whereas on the chassis side it’s more of consistent evolution.

“We don’t have any specific problems with our car so it’s a case of improving downforce and grip as these are the areas where we’re lacking relative to our rivals, and this is a result of our late start to development. Aero and mechanical grip is where we want to make progress.”

Agreeing with managing director Cyril Abiteboul, Bell admits Renault must not let any work on this year’s car have in impact on its 2017 work.

“The regulations for next year represent a significant change so work on this year’s car is not as relevant as it would be if the regulations were relatively static. We still have a sensible development programme for the R.S.16, and we expect to see a decent raft of upgrades in the early to mid-season and these chassis upgrades are both aerodynamic and mechanical.

“Equally, the 2017 regulations represent a significant change. We have to catch-up to our rivals so next year does give us a good opportunity to do this.”

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