The first Renault V10s which will be used at the Australian Grand Prix in three weeks time ran on the Viry-ChÃ¢tillon dyno yesterday, with two of them undergoing the stringent approval process required for Grand Prix competition. It has taken just...
The first Renault V10s which will be used at the Australian Grand Prix in three weeks time ran on the Viry-Châtillon dyno yesterday, with two of them undergoing the stringent approval process required for Grand Prix competition. It has taken just a week to assemble these RS23 units, thanks to the Team working sixteen hours a day. "Normally, this kind of operation takes about a fortnight, but we wanted to wait as long as possible before finalising the technical specification of the engines which will be used at the first race," explains Axel Plasse. This specification was fixed after results from testing conducted last week in Valencia.
The approval process is extremely strict. "Initially, we run the engine in for an hour on the dyno, at low engine speeds (between 7,000 and 10,000 rpm) and under low loads (between 70 and 250 horsepower)," explains the engineer.
Once this stage has been completed, the V10 undergoes a first set of changes: oil filters are changed, electronic checks conducted and any possible leaks are identified. "We then move onto stage two," continues Axel. "We check the engine between 7,000 and 18,000 rpm, rising in 500 rpm increments, running at each one for a period of 25 seconds. Around one hundred parameters are recorded at each step, and these allow us to calculate power curves, oil usage levels, oil pressure curves, and more. We also establish the oil and fuel consumption levels..." By the end of the process, the Team will have detailed all of the engine's key characteristics, and it can then be given the green light for use at a Grand Prix.
Once approved, the V10 then undergoes a final stage: preparation for transport, and race use. The RS23 is cleaned, the wiring installed and numerous other small operations conducted in a process lasting around six hours.
"We will be sending around fifteen engines to Australia, and will be approving two a day, beginning yesterday," concludes Axel.