Renault Play Down Engine Fears

Renault have played down suggestions that this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix could turn into a fight for survival for engines - and revealed they are more than comfortable with their own endurance capabilities for the second weekend of racing the same power-unit

Renault Play Down Engine Fears

Although there have been widespread comments that Malaysia will provide one of the toughest challenges for engines, because of the extreme heat experienced at Sepang, Renault's head of engine operations Denis Chevrier actually believes the event will be fairly straightforward.

"There is no intrinsic reason to be more worried about the second weekend of the engine's life than the first," he said. "When producing an engine for a life of 1,400km, we design parts that will perform to their maximum over this life-span - and only enter a 'dangerous' phase of reliability after this has been completed.

"The second weekend should not be a step into the unknown, but rather a normal phase of the engine's life."

When asked whether it was true that the long straights and high heat of Malaysia would be an 'engine-breaker', Chevrier said: "In actual fact, no.

"The demands placed on the engine are less severe than in Albert Park. Firstly, although the straights are long, they are by no means usually so, and the circuit layout means the drivers spend a low percentage of the lap at full throttle.

"Secondly, the heat and humidity mean the engine intrinsically develops less power - the combustion process carries less energy. This also reduces loadings on the engine compared to the cooler, denser climate of Melbourne."

A few teams have decided to change engines on their cars for this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix. BAR took that choice, after deliberately retiring its cars in Australia, while Minardi also opted for new power-units.

Ferrari actually chose to stick with the same engine in Michael Schumacher's car, even though he retired from the season-opening race following a clash with Nick Heidfeld.

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