Renault: Engine freeze allows 2023 ideas to be fast-tracked

Renault engine chief Remi Taffin has welcomed Formula 1's engine freeze for 2022, saying it can fast-track some of its original plans for 2023.

Renault: Engine freeze allows 2023 ideas to be fast-tracked

F1 announced in February that it would be going ahead with a proposed engine freeze next year, halting development for three seasons until the next generation of power unit arrives.

The decision paved the way for Red Bull to establish its own power unit division, taking over Honda's engines upon its F1 exit to ensure there were still four separate suppliers on the grid.

F1's power unit suppliers welcomed the move as a cost cutting measure, and are now working on finalising their engine developments ahead of the freeze, effective from the first race of 2022.

Speaking about the impact of the engine freeze on Renault's engine plans, Taffin revealed that the French manufacturer was able to simply bring forward its planned developments for 2023 to beat the freeze in '22.

"The '21 engine was not actually driven by what's happening in '22 or '23," Taffin said.

"The decision we have made back in 2020 was driven by the fact that we would actually put everything on '22, having in mind that we would have another revolution in '23.

"We could make the best out of the new baseline we had for '22, which is now not the case anymore, because we haven't got '23.

"But actually we're quite happy. We can have actually a big push for '22, so we are even pushing further forwards some of the evolution we had in '23 into '22.

"It's been a different game, but all in all if we look at the long game, I think that's not a bad decision we had a year ago."

Alpine A521 bodywork detail

Alpine A521 bodywork detail

Photo by: Alpine

Renault has already revealed it is evaluating a switch to Mercedes' concept of a split turbo and compressor on its power unit for 2022, having delayed the introduction of a new design to next year.

Only Alpine will race with Renault power units this year after McLaren's switch to Mercedes engines at the end of last year.

After power unit development was frozen during the 2020 season in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Taffin explained how Renault had introduced the updates it planned last year over the winter.

"We implemented the modifications we forecast for last year mid-season into this year," Taffin said.

"So it's more of an evolution that we would have in season at races rather than over winter. And obviously we had then put our focus on '22, but at the same time we did over the winter the validation of our '21 engine, which is an evolution of last year one.

"We're basically set up for race one. And I'm hoping that what we've done is enough to preserve the reliability we got last year, which proved to give us a good baseline and obviously a bit more performance from the evolution I just mentioned."

shares
comments

Related video

Leclerc spent more time than ever at Ferrari in F1 2021 build-up
Previous article

Leclerc spent more time than ever at Ferrari in F1 2021 build-up

Next article

Why Mazepin’s misconduct will never be swept away

Why Mazepin’s misconduct will never be swept away
Grading F1's 2022 drivers at half-term Plus

Grading F1's 2022 drivers at half-term

Over the first 13 races of Formula 1's new ground effects era, Max Verstappen has surged into the lead in the world championship over Charles Leclerc. But as the 2022 season prepares to roar back into life, who stacks up as the top of the class, and who must do better? We graded every driver based on their performances so far

The 10 stories to watch out for across the rest of the 2022 F1 season Plus

The 10 stories to watch out for across the rest of the 2022 F1 season

It’s 13 down, nine to go as the Formula 1 teams pause for breath in the summer break. But what can we expect to happen over the next three months from Belgium to Abu Dhabi? Here's the key storylines to keep an eye out for the rest of the 2022 season

Formula 1
Aug 18, 2022
The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream Plus

The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream

OPINION: The Formula 1 grid's wait for a new American driver looks set to continue into 2023 as the few remaining places up for grabs - most notably at McLaren - look set to go elsewhere. This is despite the Woking outfit giving tests to IndyCar aces recently, showing that the Stateside single-seater series still has some way to go to being seen as a viable feeder option for F1

Formula 1
Aug 17, 2022
How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge Plus

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge

While creating a car that is woefully off the pace is a nightmare scenario for any team, it inadvertently generates the test any engineering department would relish: to turn it into a winner. As Mercedes takes on that challenge in Formula 1 this season, McLaren’s former head of vehicle engineering reveals how the team pulled of the feat in 2009 with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Aug 15, 2022
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022