Renault F1 team already considering strategic 2018 grid penalties

Renault Formula 1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul admits his team is considering factoring strategic grid penalties into its 2018 season, in order to maximise engine performance

Renault F1 team already considering strategic 2018 grid penalties

Rather than compromising engine performance to ensure each unit lasts the seven grands prix required by this year's three-engine rule, Renault could commit in advance to running four or more power units and accept that penalties will result.

That reduced mileage requirement would allow the team to run at higher performance levels for longer, while the additional units would also provide extra opportunities to introduce upgrades.

"I don't want to say too much about this at this stage, because it's still early days," said Abiteboul.

"But we knew this regulation was coming, we knew what we had to do, and we are still a bit open minded about the best way that we want to cover the season.

"In particular we are not assuming that we want to downgrade the performance potential in the engine because of reliability, and because of mileage.

"We're also looking carefully at the evolution of the regulations in terms of grid penalties.

"This has become a bit more flexible, a bit less painful, so we will factor that into the way that we are building the plan for this year in terms of engines in production, and possible engine penalties if we have to, or if we think that this is tactically in our advantage to do so."

Abiteboul said the works team would make a call on its plans between the end of testing and the first race in Australia.

"We want to establish the baseline, we want to know a bit more about ourselves, the performance of the engine as it is right now," he said.

"We want also to learn more about the car, our competitiveness, the other teams, there are a number of things that we will factor into the debrief in the aftermath of the test, and from that point on will be the plan for the remainder of the season, including the number of power units that we want to use, the potential for development, and so on.

"In F1 you need to optimise the potential. If it's better for everyone to use four power units rather than three, we may take that decision."

Abiteboul expects Renault to start the season with a similar level of performance to late-2017 but able to better exploit it.

"The target this year is to start the season first reliably - which will allow us to make use of the full potential of the engine, something which we were not capable of doing last year," he said.

"Which means that from a competitiveness perspective, the engine should be performing better.

"It will be comparable to the end of last year when we were using it at its maximum potential, which has not happened on many occasions, except maybe Abu Dhabi."

shares
comments
Renault imposes May deadline for Red Bull's Honda F1 engine call

Previous article

Renault imposes May deadline for Red Bull's Honda F1 engine call

Next article

Formula 1 launches new ad-free streaming service for 2018

Formula 1 launches new ad-free streaming service for 2018
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Renault F1 Team
Author Adam Cooper
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is no guarantee

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
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

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
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