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Renault makes 'fundamental changes' to power unit for 2015

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Renault makes 'fundamental changes' to power unit for 2015
Jan 28, 2015, 10:29 AM

Renault says it has made "fundamental changes" to its power unit in a bid to close the gap on Mercedes in 2015, with the manufacturer's Managing ...

Renault says it has made "fundamental changes" to its power unit in a bid to close the gap on Mercedes in 2015, with the manufacturer's Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul saying "we believe we have made a very big step in performance and will be more reliable".

"We knew what we had to do over the winter and we know what we have achieved," said Abiteboul. "We do not know where the others will be: we may not have erased all the gaps, but we are confident that we have gone a long way to making up the deficit of last season. Our objective is to close the gap as much as possible and give Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso a more competitive car on most circuits, independently of their characteristics and sensitivities."

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 09.07.19

Explaining the changes, Chief Technical Officer Rob White said: "We have made some fundamental changes to gain performance and reliability. We have upgraded every system and subsystem, with items that will give the most performance prioritised.

"The principal changes involve the internal combustion engine, turbocharger and batter," he added. "The ICE will have a new combustion chamber, exhaust system concept and variable trumpets, as permitted by the 2015 regulations. The compressor is more efficient, while the energy recovery systems are able to deal with more severe usage.

‘The 2014 unit was already well placed in its centre of gravity, however we have tidied up the packaging to give greater ease of integration into the chassis. Additionally many systems and functions have been rationalised and simplified to further ease the task. In short, there are very few carry over pieces between the 2014 and 2015 power units."

Manufacturers are this year allowed to upgrade up to 48% of their power unit using a token system which allocates a value to power unit components. This year teams are allowed to use 32 token from a total PU value of 66 and White admitted that Renault has already used the bulk of its 2015 tokens.

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 09.06.22

"We have used the majority of the tokens for the first race and our use of tokens during the course of the season will be relatively modest," he said. "It then becomes a matter of strategy about when you introduce the remaining tokens; whether to introduce at the start of the season when the technology is relatively immature but could give greater relative performance, or later in the season when the part has had more testing miles but the impact on performance will be potentially less. We can still make changes for reliability under the sporting regulations. We have therefore prioritized token spend to make as much headway as possible with performance."

In a bid to make the operation at its Viry-Chatillon base more efficient, Renault has also restructured its technical team.

White has been made Chief Technical Officer and will work alongside former head of production Jean-Paul Gousset, who as been appointed Organisation Performance Officer, with responsibility for organisational matters, presumably to free White of logistical burdens and to allow him to focus on power unit development. In that regard a new development department has been created, to be headed by Naoki Tokunaga.

Finally Remi Taffin will continue to oversee trackside operations but will now have an expanded role in overseeing how the factory operates.

"Viry needed a refresh," said Abiteboul. "We did not suffer from a lack of resources or finances in 2014, it was simply that the resources were not joined up in time or used to their optimum."

 
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