Alpine encouraged by new Renault F1 power unit performance

Alpine says it has been encouraged by the performance of Renault’s new Formula 1 power unit, even though it has yet to be run at its top mode.

Alpine encouraged by new Renault F1 power unit performance

Ahead of the 2022 season, Renault has completely reworked its F1 engine – which has included adopting the split turbo solution that was pioneered by Mercedes all the way back in 2014.

As well as delivering progress on the power front, Alpine is hoping that the improved packaging will hand it benefits in terms of aerodynamics and centre of gravity.

While the final verdict on the potential of the new engine against the benchmark Mercedes and Honda units will not be known until qualifying in Bahrain, the initial impressions from last week’s Barcelona test were good.

Alpine sporting director Alan Permane said that the team had begun experimenting with some different engine modes – and the fact that the power unit had done everything expected without drama was a positive sign.

“We haven't been running that on full power,” he said when asked by Autosport/Motorsport.com about the initial impressions of the engine.

“I don't think we've done a lap on what they call ‘single ICE mode', which is the qualifying and the race mode. We've come close to it, but not full whack.

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“Honestly, we haven't spoken about the power unit – and that's a great thing.

“It's so different. It's completely different to anything that Viry have produced before. It's more complex, it certainly looks a lot nicer and neater. But it just goes in the car and we've just gone with it, which is great.

“The drivers have had the normal comments about a little bit of driveability here, a bit of surge here and a bit of turbo lag there, but the guys have just got on top of that and played with the settings and mappings and stuff, and it's gone away.”

F1’s move to a more sustainable fuel this year, with engines needing to use petrol that contains 10% ethanol, means that comparing power from last year is very difficult.

However, Permane says the fact that drivers have not singled out the engine as any area of concern is encouraging for the team.

“[The engine] hasn't even been a talking point really, which is great,” he said. “I think it's very difficult for them to talk about power compared to last year because of the fuel differences and the big power differences.

“But they're certainly not complaining about it at all. We are very happy about it.”

shares
comments

Related video

The mechanics behind porpoising in F1 - and how to fix it
Previous article

The mechanics behind porpoising in F1 - and how to fix it

Next article

Sponsored: Can Hamilton’s F1 records ever be beaten?

Sponsored: Can Hamilton’s F1 records ever be beaten?
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023
Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Plus

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing

Formula 1
Jan 29, 2023
The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected Plus

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected

The late Mauro Forghieri played a key role in Ferrari’s mid-1960s turnaround, says STUART CODLING, and his pretty, intricate 1512 was among the most evocative cars of the 1.5-litre era. But a victim of priorities as Formula 1 was deemed less lucrative than success in sportscars, its true potential was never seen in period

Formula 1
Jan 28, 2023