Flavio Briatore, Managing Director of the Renault F1 Team, announced today that Viry-ChÃ¢tillon will be designing a new engine, which will respond to the demands of next season's new rules. Here he explains the structure of the engine team and ...
Flavio Briatore, Managing Director of the Renault F1 Team, announced today that Viry-Châtillon will be designing a new engine, which will respond to the demands of next season's new rules. Here he explains the structure of the engine team and the characteristics of the new unit.
Q: Following the departure of Jean-Jacques His, could you tell us what the new management structure at Viry is?
Flavio Briatore: The new structure is based on the current Technical Management of Viry, who are all extremely competent and motivated Renault staff. I have appointed Bernard Dudot as Deputy Managing Director. Project Manager Jean-Philippe Mercier will continue the development of the 2003 engine whereas Léon Taillieu is the Chief Designer of the 2004 engine.
Q: How will this structure work with respect to Enstone?
FB: My top priority is to achieve total integration of chassis and engine development and, with this objective, we have created a Board of Directors, headed by Patrick Faure (president of RF1T) and myself, which includes 5 managers from Viry and 5 from Enstone.
Q: What is your decision regarding the 2004 engine?
FB: Our objective is to design an engine that can respond to the demands of the new regulations, imposing one engine per race weekend, while at the same time maintaining our performance targets. Basically, this will be a high-performance engine, reliable for practice and the race.
Q: What are the main characteristics of such an engine?
FB: In order to guarantee reliability. it will have a "traditional" architecture, but without any increase in weight. It will have a high level of performance because it will benefit significantly from the technological solutions that Viry-Châtillon has developed over the past three years.
Q: Why adopt this conventional solution?
FB: As said, we must adapt to the new regulations. Far from this being a step backwards, however, the innovative expertise of Viry means we will be able to develop a one-weekend engine (750 km) with weight and performance equal to those of an engine lasting half the distance.
Q: Renault had indicated in the past that a wide-angle engine, with a low centre of gravity, improved chassis handling. Is that not the case?
FB: Whilst the centre of gravity height of the engine is an important factor, the integration of whole chassis, engine and gearbox package in order to achieve a balanced, stiff package combined with both low mass and low centre of gravity is of greater importance. The new engine configuration for 2004 will not hinder us in this respect.
Q: How well wiall the Enstone chassis be integrated with this new engine?
FB: The key part of our strategy is to achieve complete integration of chassis and engine. The new engine will answer a precise brief and "wish-list" from the Enstone team headed by Mike Gascoyne. The engine and chassis teams will develop the overall package step-by-step in total synergy. We have implanted at Enstone a small engine branch, Engine Development UK (ex-TWR), which will be managed by Viry Project Manager Pascal Tribotte.
Q: What is the timing on the new engine?
FB: Our objective is that it will be in place in mid-January 2004.
Q: What will the engine be called?