Renault counters F1 spy threats

Renault Sport is stepping up security at its Viry-Chatillon base and the Regie-owned Benetton Formula 1 team's Enstone HQ after increasing concerns over industrial espionage

Renault counters F1 spy threats

Renault believes that classified technical information from its Supertec engine programme has already fallen into the hands of its rivals, according to Autosport's sister magazine F1 Racing. The French motor giant is already at an advanced stage of development with its radical new 2001 V10 and is looking at ways to prevent further security breaches.

Prior to the season-closing Malaysian Grand Prix, Renault engineers were flown to Sepang to find out how rival teams could be prevented from intercepting its car-to-pits telemetry and officers from France's equivalent of MI5 also attended the race, according to the magazine.

"A possible espionage affair against Renault would be regarded as a threat to national security in France," said a Benetton spokesman.

From what is already known, Renault has much to be protective of in its new V10. The V-angle of the low centre of gravity unit will be an unprecedented 111 degrees, compared to Ferrari's 90-degree unit and Mercedes' and BMW's mere 72 degrees, while direct injection and a revolutionary electro-magnetic system that replaces conventional cam shafts are also rumoured.


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