Kevin Magnussen believes Renault has made its car worse ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix following a successful in-season Formula 1 test.
Although Magnussen claims the team has delivered what was promised with its engine upgrade, he ended Thursday’s free practice running three seconds adrift of the pace set by Daniel Ricciardo in the Renault-powered Red Bull.
“It’s all chassis,” said Magnussen, with regard to the gap to Ricciardo. “The engine has delivered, it’s a good step. “We could have the best engine on the grid right now and we’d still be close to where we are, so the engine is not our main concern at the moment. I’m very happy to say Renault has done a great job, they’ve achieved what they promised with the numbers and laptime goals, so that is very encouraging.
“We just have to improve our car, and we’ve a big job on our hands. It’s not going to be this weekend, it’s not going to be the next, so we just have to keep cool. Unfortunately, we have made the car worse, and that’s a mistake from us.
“We thought we’d made the car better from the test. I’m sure some of the things we tried were improvements, but balance and set-up wise, it’s not made the car better for this track.”
Magnussen has confirmed the team will revert to a former set-up for the rest of the race weekend.
“We’ll go back to what we know and have run many times which should suit this track better,” he said. “I still have laps, so I’m not too nervous about that.
“Hopefully it should be better because at the moment we have a car that is very snappy on turn in, and having that in Monaco is not the best.”
BOTH CARS IN THE WALL
Magnussen crashed in FP2 at the final corner, an accident he put down to having no grip on turn-in.
Teammate Jolyon Palmer’s incident in FP1, when he hit the wall at Tabac on his first lap on ultra-softs, resulted in damage to the suspension and uprights, which because of the time needed to make changes meant he also missed the start of FP2.
Palmer also claimed the car to be “snappy”, adding: “It’s been quite difficult to drive all day, and very oversteery.
“It’s not very confidence inspiring around here, where you need a lot of confidence. We’ve been trying something from testing, and we’ll probably revert back to something we know for Saturday.
“The main thing is we have learned something and we can try it again in practice days.”