Renault's engine technical director Rob White discusses the RS26 V8 engine Q: How has the team approached the RS26 project? The V8 engine of the new Renault R26. Photo by LAT Photographic. Rob White: We have tackled the project ...
Renault's engine technical director Rob White discusses the RS26 V8 engine
Q: How has the team approached the RS26 project?
Rob White: We have tackled the project enthusiastically, with high ambitions: we are aiming to win. Our approach at Renault is above all pragmatic, which means we are aggressive but also realistic. We need to be in a position to win, which means you need a good package: a powerful, reliable engine, and a quick, easy to drive car. The teams in Enstone and Viry worked hand in hand on this new package.
Q: What have been the key steps of this project?
RW: A successful project is one that has been managed effectively, and you cannot short-circuit any of the development phases. We planned the design, approval and production tasks in order to have a powerful, reliable engine ready for track use in January, to maximise our testing mileage. The RS26 completed a significant mileage on the test bench prior to hitting the track for the first time.
Q: Has the V8 design fundamentally caused the engine builders to fundamentally re-assess their work?
RW: Not at all. The fixed architecture is significantly different, but we will use similar technology, and the constraints we encountered with the V10 are still in place. A 2006 V8 will have much more in common with last year's V10 engines, than the V8 units used in other categories or in F1 in the past.
Q: Did the RS26 require a specific approach?
RW: With the RS26, the V8-specific challenge was to understand and manage the internal and external vibrations, as well as the engine's other subtleties, plus to manage the changes imposed by the regulations, such as materials restrictions and the removal of variable length inlet trumpets.
Q: What are the main characteristics of the new engine?
RW: It's is a brand new engine, that has been designed to exploit the new regulations to the maximum. However, the regulations now impose on us more parameters than in the past. There is now a minimum weight limit for the engine, of 95 kg, a fixed architecture and the centre of gravity must be within specific limits. Our goal was therefore to push to the limits of the regulations, to gain maximum advantage.