Renault says being able to turn up F1 engine feels like 'magic'

Renault says achieving greater reliability with its Formula 1 engine has allowed it to push its electronic components harder and make a performance step that feels like "magic"

Renault says being able to turn up F1 engine feels like 'magic'

The French manufacturer had a troubled pre-season and pushed back an engine upgrade earlier this year amid concerns about the durability of its power units during dyno tests.

A recent run of stoppages, including successive engine failures for Red Bull driver Max Verstappen in the Canadian and Azerbaijan Grands Prix, have brought Renault's unreliability back into focus.

Recent engine failures have linked to older specification parts introduced before Renault had answers to its issues, and it says it is now hitting its dyno targets and able to unleash greater performance.

Renault introduced new engine modes and settings in Baku for its works and customer teams, which delivered a gain of around 0.2 seconds.

"If you have reliability problems and can solve them, then you can actually push hard on the part," Renault engine technical director Remi Taffin told Autosport.

"If you are on the back foot and have to turn things down electronically, then you can move things up quite easily when you have the reliability back.

"That is what we did [in Baku] - and it sometimes feels like it is a bit of magic stuff.

"You don't need to change big things in the engine hardware to make big steps these days."

Taffin explained that "anything we want to bring into the game now is what we want to have - and has been 5000km proved" on the dyno.

He has faith that more performance will come over the remainder of the campaign, thanks to software settings, improved fuel and possible hardware changes planned for 2018 if they prove reliable enough.

"The second part of the season we will be looking to build on the right level of reliability to take the most out of the engine," he said.

"That also means the most out of the power unit, so we can get more electrical energy out of the energy store.

"We will see if we can bring some of the [update] stuff forward.

"We will have some new fuel or lubricants which will help and, if we have some new bits and pieces that we have left aside from the start of the season, we will bring them.

"There is still a big focus in trying to follow our road map and make sure that next year's engine is there.

"As it is an engine that is close to this one, it is easier to transfer ideas from one to the other."

Renault plans to introduce the next round of engines around the time of the British or Hungarian Grands Prix in mid/late July.

It also still hopes to run its 2017-spec MGU-K later this year, having been forced to revert to the heavier 2016 model from the start of the season because of reliability worries.

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