• Double F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel visited Renault Sport F1's base in Viry-Châtillon (south of Paris) today to celebrate his world title success with Red Bull Racing's engine suppliers, Renault.
• Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner and chief technical officer Adrian Newey accompanied Sebastian to thank Renault for their contribution to his success this year.
• Carlos Tavares, Chief Operating Officer of Renault, welcomed the party. After addressing the 250 staff working at Viry-Châtillon, Sebastian, Christian and Adrian visited the major departments of Renault Sport F1 including the design office, engine assembly bay and engine dynos.
Renault Sport F1 has supplied its RS27 V8 engine to Red Bull Racing since 2007, with the collaboration maturing into one of the most successful chassis-engine partnerships of all time. Together the partnership has produced 27 wins, 38 pole positions and consecutive drivers' and constructors' double crowns in 2010 and 2011. Red Bull Racing and Renault announced a five-year extension of the partnership at the 2011 Italian Grand Prix and will work together until at least the end of the 2016 season, collaborating on the new engine regulations due to be introduced from 2014.
Sebastian said, 'In many ways the team of people designing, building and optimising the Renault RS27 engine feels like one big family, so it was fantastic to come here today and thank them all in person. The co-operation between Milton Keynes and Viry is fantastic and they are pushing hard to make the engine even better and allow Adrian and his team to design the best chassis they possibly can. The amount of commitment this year has been extraordinary: if there was anything that made a difference, this was it: the teamwork. The success we have had these last two years is a fantastic reward for the commitment of everyone here at Viry and within the wider Renault group.'
The amount of commitment this year has been extraordinary
Christian Horner said, 'We came into this year with a lot of pressure and everyone has risen to the challenge tremendously. We've achieved so much in such a short space of time and the records we've beaten this season are a great fillip for the teams at Red Bull Racing and Renault. It's a real partnership; the Renault guys on the ground are as hungry as we are to win. We're delighted to be with them for another five years. The collaboration has matured into a genuine partnership and that will only grow stronger over time.'
In recognition of the long association between Adrian Newey and Renault - which began in 1991 when Renault supplied engines to the Williams team - Adrian was presented with a unique gift, a sculpture of parts from various race winning engines. Together, Adrian and Renault have secured seven constructors' titles and six drivers' crowns.
Adrian Newey, 'I worked with Renault in the 90s while I was at Williams and was impressed with the commitment, innovation and drive of the team at Viry-Châtillon. Renault understands that the engine-chassis package is just that; it's a joint effort. This has been particularly important this year with the use of the exhaust gases and the proposed changes, and Renault has been there every step of the way to optimise the packaging of the engine, the heat diffusion and the fuel consumption so we can maximise aerodynamic efficiency and mechanical grip. RSF1 has been crucial in the development of the RB7, so I'm really pleased to be able to thank everyone behind the scenes who has contributed so much to the success we've achieved this year.'
Jean-François Caubet, RSF1 managing director, added, 'We have around 250 people working to constantly innovate the RS27 within the context of the regulations, while maintaining our excellent reliability record, so for our staff to be able to meet the final users is very satisfying. Red Bull Racing and Renault have forged a very successful partnership, which has just been extended for the next five years, so we will continue to have the best possible shop window to demonstrate the quality, reliability and innovation of Renault technologies. We are already looking forward to next season!'
From track to road : F1 expertise translated to road car development
"Formula 1 is an extraordinary laboratory to test new technologies in extreme conditions. The experience we have picked up in the past 30 years of F1 competition has allowed us to develop our understanding of downsizing, * friction reduction and cooling solutions: valuable advantages that allow us to improve the energy efficiency of our vehicles while maintaining driving pleasure. From 2012 we will supply four teams, which demonstrates our expertise on track, and we will also supply road car engines to Nissan and Daimler, which demonstrates our performance on the road,' added Carlos Tavares. Renault entered F1 in 1977 and quickly developed trackside expertise that was to distinguish it from other road car manufacturers. Renault's long-term commitment to the pinnacle of motorsport allowed the brand to test new technologies in extreme conditions before introducing to its road car lines. The continuous improvement of energy efficient engines is a great example of the transfer of technology from track to road.
More recently, Renault has incorporated its F1 technical expertise into the development of the Energy engine series. Philippe Coblence and Jean-Philippe Mercier, who were key players in the success of the championship-winning Renault V10s, took responsibility for research and development of the Energy dCi 130 and Energy TCe 115 engines. Drawing on their trackside experience, the pair took the concept of downsizing much further, with the Energy engines incorporating a 25% reduction in fuel consumption compared to current engines; innovations that had not previously been seen in road car engines. These engines will be progressively introduced to the Mégane range.
Additionally, a team of 30 Renault road car engineers have been integrated into the RSF1 engine programme to gain first-hand experience of the high-pressure, fast evolving world of F1. The know-how and technical skills they gain at Viry will then be transferred across into the development of Renault's road cars. This will become even more important with the development of the V6 turbo engines for 2014, which will incorporate several road relevant technologies, including powerful energy recovery systems and electric technology.
* Downsizing is the process used to reduce weight and fuel consumption while maintaining performance through turbocharging. Renault was the forerunner of this technology in F1, introducing the first downsized 1.5 turbo engine to Formula 1 in the 1970s in direct competition to the V8 and V12 engines with a cubic capacity of 3000cm3. The 2014 engine regulations place a greater emphasis on downsizing with a reduction of cubic capacity to 1600cm3.