Renault F1 team believes new front wing will help fix race pace

Renault believes a new front wing it tried in the Bahrain Formula 1 test could resolve the race-pace problems that have afflicted it in 2017's opening grands prix

Renault F1 team believes new front wing will help fix race pace

Though Nico Hulkenberg put Renault seventh on the grid in both China and Bahrain, his ninth place in the Sakhir event is the team's only points finish so far as it has been unable to replicate its qualifying form in race trim.

Renault's chief technical officer Bob Bell said the team understood why this was happening and had parts arriving to tackle it.

"It's pretty clear and we're not under any illusion; we are currently qualifying better than we race and that's a symptom of our current car performance," he said.

"We have a reasonable understanding of why this is and have a number of developments to address this in the realm of aerodynamics and suspension.

"We tested new parts - including a new front wing - in Bahrain designed to add more aero-performance to the car and also make it slightly more benign to engender better race pace.

"The RS17 is not as well balanced as we'd like over a full stint.

"Whilst you can get away with this over the course of a qualifying lap - where fresh tyres can mask the balance issue - the performance is less consistent when you take to the longer runs of race stints.

"The RS17 has a somewhat nervous corner entry, followed by mid-turn understeer, followed by a nervous exit making finding traction a challenge.

"If we can address these areas, our drivers will have a very effective race car at their disposal.

"We believe the problems are aero related, so we're primarily looking for the solution there.

"Once we have the entry-phase of the corner sorted, the rest should follow more easily."

Bell told Autosport after the Bahrain race that the fact the car was qualifying so well had reassured Renault over its ultimate potential.

"If you have the pace the key is maintaining it," he said.

"It's easier to translate qualifying pace to race pace than to find basic performance."

The team's managing director Cyril Abiteboul recently suggested its aero flaws this year were still a consequence of under-investment prior to Renault reacquiring it ahead of last season.

"We are still paying everywhere," he said. "We're in the process of rebuilding everything.

"In the previous ownership, there had been a pause of development for maybe 18 months.

"We're lucky there has been a reset to the downforce element, which is why we look much better compared to last year.

"In thermal management of tyres, that's an area where there has not been any reset and it's even more important that before.

"In that area, we're still paying - the team has lost contact with what has been done."

shares
comments
FIA to clamp down on Formula 1 oil-as-fuel burn in 2018

Previous article

FIA to clamp down on Formula 1 oil-as-fuel burn in 2018

Next article

Start of 2017 F1 season 'damage limitation' for Force India

Start of 2017 F1 season 'damage limitation' for Force India
Load comments
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Plus

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021
Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems Plus

Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening day of action for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, on the Istanbul circuit’s much improved track surface. But the Black Arrows squad’s position isn’t quite what it seems. Here’s why

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021