Interview with Renault's His

Jean-Jacques His, managing director of Renault F1 France, talks about the new RS23 engine A three-team organisation means that Viry-Châtillon have been working on RS23 for two years. The new engine retains the wide angle architecture of its ...

Jean-Jacques His, managing director of Renault F1 France, talks about the new RS23 engine

A three-team organisation means that Viry-Châtillon have been working on RS23 for two years. The new engine retains the wide angle architecture of its predecessors, but is nevertheless very different. Its creator agreed to let us into a few secrets...

Q:What was your starting point for the design of the RS23?

We began laying out the basics of the engine at the start of 2001. The major technical decisions were made jointly with Enstone between April and September of that year, with the conviction that, in spite of the difficulties with RS21 and later with RS22, the architecture of our engine was sound. Nevertheless, we had to work hard on a number of points!

Q:Which areas did you concentrate on?

We worked very hard on the integration of the RS23 with the new gearbox, as well with the new chassis as a whole. Our work with Enstone is getting better and better, and the progress we have made in this area has allowed us to find interesting solutions in lots of areas. We also paid a lot of attention to reliability.

Q:What are the immediate consequences of this work?

Although the exterior dimensions of the RS23 are very similar to those of its predecessor, we have conducted a lot of research into the structural aspects of the engine block. The construction of this piece of the engine is brand new, with significantly improved stiffness. Equally, the valve control mechanism is very different.

Q:Were you tempted to throw in the towel at any point during 2002?

Never. The double retirement at Spa because of engine problems upset me, and pushed us to ask ourselves a lot of questions. We experienced some problems with quality control during the middle part of the season, and the internal assessment this provoked led us to find lots of different areas of progress. The RS22 benefited from this at the end of last year, and the RS23 will take this even further.

Q:How will the RS23 compare in terms of performance?

It will be better. Following our post-Spa shake-up, we achieved a good level of reliability and with that, more power. The final evolution of the RS22, in Suzuka qualifying spec, demonstrated that. Our priority is to have good reliability. If you start from a solid base, the work on performance brings real benefits.

-renault-

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Series Formula 1