Renault Formula 1 team hampered by long windtunnel shutdown

Renault has revealed its aero development progress since Formula 1's summer break was hurt by it needing to put its windtunnel out of action for several weeks for an upgrade

Renault Formula 1 team hampered by long windtunnel shutdown

The team has faced difficulties getting on top of the aero characteristics of its car, with the RS.19 having not produced the kind of step forward that had been hoped for.

Renault F1's managing director Cyril Abiteboul said what the team learned about the car in the first half of the year prompted it to decide it needed to improve its Enstone windtunnel, which meant putting it out of action for nearly one month.

He explained that the team had accepted it would have to take a hit on the windtunnel at some point, especially with the major 2021 rule changes just around the corner.

"We know the problem," Abiteboul told Autosport.

"The front wings are super-sensitive, the way that they are hitting the bodywork, hitting the floor, leading edge and so on, they are super-sensitive and we have understood a lot in the windtunnel.

"This meant the windtunnel was shut down for more than just the [summer] shutdown.

"That impact on development and the fact that we were working on multiple projects meant that we were delayed, but that was investment.

"If we want to be at the level we want to be ultimately, we had to do these things. So it is an encouraging sign of things to come.

"But there is so much more to be done so I prefer to keep my head down."

Abiteboul explained that the tunnel was closed both sides of the shutdown, and it needed an upgrade to bring it up to spec having not had enough investment put into it under the team's previous owners.

"It was started before and was completed after [the summer break] so it meant we lost almost a month where we had absolutely no windtunnel usage," he said.

"It was planned, and was the sort of thing that goes back to the previous ownership because very little investment was done and it is something that we were pushing back, pushing back, pushing back, but at some point we had to do it.

"With 2021 coming very near, we needed to be ready with everything, even if it meant sacrificing some of this year's development."

shares
comments
Vasseur: Alfa Romeo has no need to panic over its F1 race pace
Previous article

Vasseur: Alfa Romeo has no need to panic over its F1 race pace

Next article

Ayrton Senna's career to be celebrated at Sao Paulo F1 fan festival

Ayrton Senna's career to be celebrated at Sao Paulo F1 fan festival
Load comments
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Plus

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Autosport heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Plus

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022