Renault: F1 engine rules not "fit for purpose"

Renault says it is open to a change in Formula 1's engine regulations over the next few years, after suggesting that the current power units are not 'fit' for the sport's demands.

Renault: F1 engine rules not "fit for purpose"
Renault Sport
The 2015 Renault Energy F1 engine
Cyril Abiteboul, Renault Sport F1 Managing Director
Renault Sport
The 2015 Renault Energy F1 engine
Renault

The French car manufacturer made it clear several years ago that it would only remain in F1 if the sport moved to the turbo hybrid rules that came into force at the start of 2014.

The success of those regulations has been called into question recently on cost and spectacle grounds, and manufacturers are currently involved in discussions to come up with alternative ideas to head off the threat of an independent engine from 2017.

Renault F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul accepts that the current engines may not be the best way forward for the sport, but thinks it would be a mistake to go too radical with alternatives.

"Hybrid regulations are important, not just to Renault but to any car maker," he said. "If you look at the future product line of most brands, you will see hybrid elements on all cars.

"If you ask me about this particular set of regulations, how important they are, we should not be precious. I am not completely convinced that we have the engine regulations that are completely fit for purpose for the model of modern F1.

"[I am talking about] for the show, for the cost for the manufacturer, for price for the team, also noise and serviceability and so on and so forth.

"Plus also there is all the sporting elements associated with it – like the token system, which is extremely confusing, and the penalty system, which is extremely confusing. I don't think we have something brilliant.

"Having said that, do we need to write this off completely or improve what needs to be improved and fix what needs to be fixed rather than trying to come up with something completely new? I'm not quite sure.

"The problem is when we try to come up with something completely new, which is trying to be a breakthrough in comparison to what we had before, it is not necessarily brilliant.

"The regular thing is evolution rather than radical changes. It is very difficult to anticipate what will be the effect of radical change. But we are completely open to change in the regulations."

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