Renault's Bernard Dudot, Deputy Managing Director of Viry-ChÃ¢tillon, explains why the RS24 will be competitive. The target remains to build a winning engine. The Renault F1 Team announced that a brand new engine will be used in 2004. This V10...
Renault's Bernard Dudot, Deputy Managing Director of Viry-Châtillon, explains why the RS24 will be competitive. The target remains to build a winning engine.
The Renault F1 Team announced that a brand new engine will be used in 2004. This V10 will have a conventional architecture. "An engine's V angle is essentially the choice of the chassis designer," Bernard Dudot explains,
"His choice is determined, in order of importance, by internal and external aerodynamics, the integration and stiffness of the chassis, engine and gearbox installation and finally the centre of mass. Before the final decision on the V10 design is made, there needs to be a few meetings between engine and chassis engineers in order to discuss the secondary effects of the choices they have made about the engine."
The RS23 wasn't a bad engine, but it was generating too many problems. "The concept of the wide V creates a few technical difficulties," Bernard continues, "At certain engine speeds, oscillations in the crankshaft cause vibrations that are hard to control. This is one of the causes of the restricted engine speed we are suffering from in comparison to some of our competitors. We are also troubled by a limited maximum power. Finally, the width of the air box, induced by the V angle, delivers an acoustic response which deprives us of performance at low and medium engine speeds. The engine lacks torque."
"Having said that, the real problems lie elsewhere. Given the number of engines that we have to build each year, it is now no longer possible to keep Formula 1 detached from the economic environment. Our suppliers have had problems making the complex design of the V10 engines without a very high number of parts that have to be discarded. We have not found the right balance between product and process."
The design of the new engine won't harm the R23's development. "There is no question of putting the 2003 programme on the back-burner," Bernard concludes, "We will continue developing the RS23 right up until the last Grand Prix of the season. We will make full use of the great potential we currently have in our chassis, engine and drivers, and get the most out of the synergy that Patrick Faure and Flavio Briatore are currently fostering, bringing together the staff in the two sites."
"The new organisation is gradually being put into place. There is already a group working on the 2004 engine, the RS24. Another group has started on the 2005 project, the RS25. All these engines come from the same philosophy of study: simplicity of design in order to improve the quality of production and assembling."