Renault F1 launch: 'Fresh approach' needed to sort reliability

Renault believes that only a "fresh approach" will produce the reliability steps it needs to move forward in the 2018 Formula 1 season

Renault F1 launch: 'Fresh approach' needed to sort reliability

Although Renault was encouraged by its improved speed last year, when it often proved to be fourth-quickest, it lost a number of good results through poor reliability.

That area has been a key point of attention for the team this winter and, speaking after the reveal of its new R.S.18, technical chief Bob Bell made clear Renault needs to work very differently this year to make things more robust.

"We need a strong reliability record," said Bell. "That's something we need to focus on, and we have worked hard on it over the winter. We need the car as reliable as we can make it.

"That's a huge challenge, even more so than performance development, and it's the toughest task we face.

"To improve reliability, we have to accept nothing less than perfection. Anything that ends up on the car needs to be designed and built to the highest standard; checked and rechecked as fit for purpose.

"All the issues which blighted us last year need to be eradicated by a fresh approach.

"It's not something, however, that you can flick on like a switch, you need well established processes in place."

Renault has already set a target of being a top three team in terms of mileage completed in pre-season testing and Bell emphasised the importance of this goal.

"We want a trouble-free winter test programme so we can validate the performance of the car and move forward," he said.

"To do this we need a reliable car."

Renault's hopes of a step forward should be boosted by encouraging news from its Viry test benches, where progress has been made in preparing for F1's switch to three engines per year and the team declared done more distance on the dyno than ever before.

The company's F1 engine chief Remi Taffin said: "We did see our power unit on the top step of the podium three times last year, so it's clear we have the potential to achieve our aspirations.

"We just need to raise our game across the board, and all the elements we need to do this are there.

"Our first priority is for reliability and it's going to be even more difficult as we have to get another quarter out of the engine life on top of the target for 2017.

"Of course, we knew the three-engine rule was going to come, so it's something we scaled in for 2017 in preparation for 2018.

"We started designing the 2018 engine in 2016 with the three engine limitation in mind and we have completed more hours on the dyno than ever before."

Renault Sport racing president Jerome Stoll added: "We have improved significantly the performance of the engine. We saw in 2017 the reliability of our engine was a bit our weakness.

"We have to concentrate on this reliability issue."

shares
comments
Renault F1 team gives reserve driver role to Jack Aitken

Previous article

Renault F1 team gives reserve driver role to Jack Aitken

Next article

McLaren plans 'substantial' F1 update package for Australian GP

McLaren plans 'substantial' F1 update package for Australian GP
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Renault F1 Team
Author Jonathan Noble
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb Plus

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen’s emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber team-mate’s own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here’s how Nick Heidfeld’s career was chilled by the Iceman

Formula 1
Apr 1, 2021