Renault says its 2017 Formula 1 engine has exceeded expectations

Renault says its new Formula 1 engine has exceeded performance targets, despite its pre-season testing programme being impacted by reliability troubles

Renault says its 2017 Formula 1 engine has exceeded expectations

The French manufacturer has introduced an all-new concept for 2017 in a bid to make the steps it needs to cut its deficit to rival engine makes Mercedes and Ferrari.

Although Renault endured some frustrations with reliability during the Barcelona test - revolving around its ERS, while its teams were also forced to run it in conservative engine modes - there is some optimism about the potential it has for 2017.

"I think we are on target, and even maybe exceeding that target, subject to reliability," Renault F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul told Autosport.

"We came into this with a whole new engine architecture, not just in terms of [combustion engine] but also ERS.

"That means quite a great challenge, particularly in terms of reliability, and there is no surprise.

"We were expecting to encounter some difficulties - we had those difficulties that materialised.

"But the good news is that we are not doing that for nothing, meaning that the performance is there when we are try to extract it.

"We were not doing that frequently, because we were really managing distance and life of the engine parts, which are still critical conditions.

"But we have seen the performance that we wanted to get is definitely there."

Renault is now evaluating the choice of specification for the Australian Grand Prix, because it has to carefully balance out power against reliability.

"Anything could happen in Melbourne, we are doing everything we can to make sure that only good things happen in Melbourne," he said.

"We believe we have a situation that is roughly under control, but these power units are so complex to control that we still have a number of decisions to make before Melbourne that will have an impact on not only the finishing order but whether we get to the finish line in Melbourne or not.

"We are really on a critical path and it is really important to stay focused and not take anything for granted."

Renault's form will be critical to Red Bull's hopes of mounting a championship challenge this year, and Abiteboul confidently declared the customer team will "clearly be in a position to fight for the championship" with the French engine.

shares
comments
How Formula 1 has lost its humanity

Previous article

How Formula 1 has lost its humanity

Next article

Haas F1 team eyes Bahrain GP for test of new brakes

Haas F1 team eyes Bahrain GP for test of new brakes
Load comments
Why unseen Hungary heroics could be the making of F1's most overlooked driver Plus

Why unseen Hungary heroics could be the making of F1's most overlooked driver

The chaotic start to the Hungarian GP set the scene for F1's less heralded drivers to make a name for themselves. Esteban Ocon did just that to win in fine style, but further down the order one driver was making his first visit to the points and - while the circumstances were fortunate - took full advantage of the chance presented to him

Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph Plus

The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Plus

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Plus

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Plus

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

Formula 1
Jul 28, 2021