Renault confident of more F1 power and better reliability

Renault says it is finally hitting its reliability targets on the dyno with new components that will also unleash more power from its Formula 1 engines over the remainder of the campaign.

Renault confident of more F1 power and better reliability
Bob Bell, Renault Sport F1 Team at Renault Sport F1 Team and Remi Taffin, Head of Renault Sport F1 Track Operations
Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17, Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13
Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12, retires, technical issues
Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17, Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13
Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari and Remi Taffin, Head of Renault Sport F1 Track Operations
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13, Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India VJM10
Marshals remove the car of Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
The car of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
The car of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Listen to this article

A recent run of stoppages – including several that have left Max Verstappen particularly frustrated – has put the French car manufacturer under the spotlight after a campaign where reliability has been a particular issue.

But with the recent engine failures being linked to older specification parts that were introduced before Renault had answers to its issues, more positive news from its dyno in recent days has left it upbeat for when new specification parts will come on board.

“We can affirm that from Canada to Baku, we touched on the level of reliability that we wanted to have,” Renault's Remi Taffin told Motorsport.com. “So anything we want to bring into the game now is what we want to have – and has been 5000km proved. 

“Obviously we still have to play with the parts that we introduced earlier in the year, so that is why sometimes we still have a few bits and pieces, glitches and gremlins. But that is how we have to work and we have to make sure that we can move on.”

Staying within limits

Renault wants to ensure that its teams stay within the four-engine limit for the season, which is why it only plans to introduce the next round of engines around the time of the British or Hungarian Grands Prix.

Taffin added: “It is all about reliability, which has obviously taken us two months more than we would have liked. But at least now we can benefit from that and in Baku we could get more performance out of the engine, which was good for this kind of track.”

Renault introduced new engine modes and settings at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix for its works and customer teams – which delivered a step forward of around two-tenths of a second per lap.

Taffin believes that even without any major hardware changes, further steps can be expected over the remainder of 2017 – prior to a bigger jump for next season.

“If you have reliability problems and can solve them, then you can actually push hard on the part, so that is why you have these kind of steps,” he explained.

“If you are on the back foot and have to turn things down electronically, then you can move things up quite easily when you have the reliability back. That is what we did [in Baku] - and it sometimes feels like it is a bit of magic stuff. 

“You don’t need to change big things in the engine hardware to make big steps these days.”

Taffin has faith that more performance will come over the remainder of the campaign, thanks to software settings, improved fuel and maybe even hardware changes planned for 2018 if they prove reliable enough.

“The second part of the season we will be looking to build on the right level of reliability to take the most out of the engine,” he said. “That also means the most out of the powerunit, so we can get more electrical energy out of the energy store and so on and so forth. 

“We will see if we can bring some of the [update] stuff forward. We will have some new fuel or lubricants which will help and, if we have some new bits and pieces that we have left aside from the start of the season, we will bring them.

“There is still a big focus in trying to follow our road map and make sure that next year’s engine is there. And as it is an engine that is close to this one, it is easier to transfer ideas from one to the other.”

Hurt by poor reliability

Taffin is clear that the search to solve reliability issues in the early part of the year did hinder its progress in closing the performance gap to Mercedes and Ferrari.

“When we struggled with reliability over the winter, it was not only on track, you also struggle on the dyno,” he said. “So you are slowing down the progress. Even if you have very good CFD correlation, at one point you have to run them. That is what we have been hurt by. 

“As soon as we got to around race five, we could actually put more hours onto our engine and more dyno work: that is what we have got here [in Baku with the update].”

Renault still hopes to run the original 2017 spec MGU-K later this year, having been forced to revert to the heavier 2016 model from the start of the season because of reliability worries.

“It was not let’s say a priority to have it back in the car as quickly as possible because obviously we had a fix that we used from race one onwards,” he said.

“We still have the objective to run it this year. We have a version that is running on the dyno so if you look at the dyno, it is only the 2017 MGU-K that is running. It is more about to have the right slot where we will fit that back in.”

shares
comments
Massa column: My regret over a race I could have won
Previous article

Massa column: My regret over a race I could have won

Next article

Williams confirms Redding to start new role after Silverstone

Williams confirms Redding to start new role after Silverstone
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Prime

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2022
What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility Prime

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022