Taffin: Mercedes sandbagging big-time

According to Renault engine technical director Remi Taffin, World Champions Mercedes did not show anyone their full force while the teams were at pre-season testing in Barcelona.

Despite Ferrari setting the fastest times on five of the eight days in Spain, with Mercedes only doing so once, Taffin feels that it is difficult to compare their car to the Mercedes as they have been hiding their performances.

“To be fair it’s difficult to compare to Mercedes," the Renault engine chief told f1i.com. “They are hiding their game and going to raise it when we get to Q3… in Melbourne!

“I guess we should be closer to them but the gap will still be there.

As far as Renuagoes, Taffin added they have adapted their power unit development for the 2016 season and that they are also keeping an eye on the 2017 season, when the restrictions from the token system are lifted.

“Depending on how we assess this season and the steps we can fit in, I think the aim is still, starting 2017, to be fighting with them if we are to produce overall a good car,"the Frenchman revealed.

“The programme is settled, we know when we wish to introduce new specification.

“Then, we are looking into 2017 as well. There are plenty of things that we are carrying from last year that we would like to change, we will try to change everything in one go."

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