Formula 1
Formula 1
R
Australian GP
12 Mar
-
15 Mar
Next event in
44 days
19 Mar
-
22 Mar
Next event in
51 days
02 Apr
-
05 Apr
Next event in
65 days
16 Apr
-
19 Apr
Next event in
79 days
30 Apr
-
03 May
Next event in
93 days
07 May
-
10 May
Next event in
100 days
21 May
-
24 May
Next event in
114 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
04 Jun
-
07 Jun
Next event in
128 days
11 Jun
-
14 Jun
Next event in
135 days
25 Jun
-
28 Jun
Next event in
149 days
02 Jul
-
05 Jul
Next event in
156 days
16 Jul
-
19 Jul
Next event in
170 days
R
Hungarian GP
30 Jul
-
02 Aug
Next event in
184 days
27 Aug
-
30 Aug
Next event in
212 days
03 Sep
-
06 Sep
Next event in
219 days
R
Singapore GP
17 Sep
-
20 Sep
Next event in
233 days
24 Sep
-
27 Sep
Next event in
240 days
08 Oct
-
11 Oct
Next event in
254 days
R
United States GP
22 Oct
-
25 Oct
Next event in
268 days
29 Oct
-
01 Nov
Next event in
275 days
R
Brazilian GP
12 Nov
-
15 Nov
Next event in
289 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
26 Nov
-
29 Nov
Next event in
303 days

Renault admits it changed "too much" with 2017 engine

shares
comments
Renault admits it changed "too much" with 2017 engine
By:
Aug 14, 2017, 9:46 AM

Renault has admitted it made too big a change with its Formula 1 engine over last winter, and has paid the price with reliability struggles this year.

 Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-17, Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 stopped on the circuit
Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 stops on the circuit
Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 in the garage
Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Alan Permane, Renault Sport F1 Team Race Engineer, Cyril Abiteboul, Renault Sport F1 Managing Director
 Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director, Renault Sport F1 Team, in the Team Principals' Press Conference

Having felt that its own power unit had reached the limit of development, Renault embarked on a concept revamp to give itself scope to close in on the benchmark Mercedes and Ferrari engines.

But after the manufacturer hit reliability headaches over the course of this year – which has included it needing to revert to using its 2016 MGU-K - Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul has confessed that its ambitions were perhaps too big.

“I cannot look professional if I tell you that these were expected problems, because we don’t design a new engine expecting that it is not going to work,” Abiteboul told Motorsport.com. “The reality, and that is still a frustrating thing, is that we are still not great at designing first time.

"Having said that, we have done an awful lot on the engine side – the ICE architecture is completely different, the ERS is completely different.

“We can challenge the decision to do that much in one winter, and frankly, I think we have done a bit too much.”

Vicious circle

Abiteboul does believe, however, that Renault’s reliability issues have been made to look worse by the inevitable finger trouble that comes from needing to swap faulty components around.

“When you start having some difficulty with reliability, you start to do some mix and match in the garage,” he said.

“You take an MGU-H from one engine, you take a turbo from another engine, you take an MGU-K from another engine, and then you start to make a monster!

“That also multiplies the operation and that has been very difficult for the engine guys, who also – with all the operations we have done - happen to make some finger mistakes. This has made the situation even worse. So that is a vicious circle that is very strong and powerful.

“Having said that, on the chassis side, we have also had a couple of reliability issues. The last one being Jo’s installation lap in Silverstone, which was absolutely unrelated to the engine. It was a power assist system, and that is a big frustration.

“Again I am putting that down to the fact that it is a team that is young. We have had a lot of turnover in the mechanics, a lot of turnover at the factory. People are getting experience and, for me, lack of quality is lack of experience.”

Next year step

But having gone through the pain of the early-season reliability troubles, Abiteboul is at least confident that Renault will be in a better situation at the start of next year.

“It is nearly behind us, it is not behind us yet, but it is a year of consolidation also on the engine side.

"There will be much more stability next year, and we will be able to focus on extracting more performance from the different components that we have introduced, and hopefully in a much more reliable manner."

Next article
Massa: F1 criticisms same now as in the 2000s

Previous article

Massa: F1 criticisms same now as in the 2000s

Next article

Raikkonen tips Leclerc to be future F1 star after test

Raikkonen tips Leclerc to be future F1 star after test
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Renault F1 Team
Author Jonathan Noble