Renault defends its radical engine route

French car giant Renault has defended its decision to go with a radical wide-angled engine design for its Formula 1 return, despite the troublesome start to its season, according to this week's Autosport magazine

Renault defends its radical engine route

Renault, which bought the Benetton team last year, developed an all-new, 111 degree V-angle engine for this season, but the Enstone-based team has struggled with both reliability and power. The French V10 is reputed to develop only 720bhp, compared to the 850bhp of BMW.

However, Renault Sport boss Patrick Faure believes the company's decision to adopt a less conventional design was the right one, and despite the problems, he is confident it was the right way to go in order to take on big guns Ferrari and McLaren-Mercedes, plus up-and-comers Williams-BMW.

"We didn't expect such a difficult year," said Faure. "But if we had to, we would do it again because we had a choice: either to build a Supertec engine and fight for the third row, but have no chance to overtake McLaren or Ferrari, or to really go for it with a totally new architecture, but accept that we have more difficulty."

The French marque plans to introduce several technical updates for its home Grand Prix at Magny-Cours on July 1, which are expected to give the engine an extra 40bhp.

There is also no chance, according to Faure, of Renault supplying a second team alongside Benetton or rebadging the current units as Nissan engines, even though the Japanese marque is owned by Renault.

"Although we are owners of Nissan," said Faure, "please do not clash the brands. Nissan are concentrating their policy on the United States."

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