Renault to Build 'Traditional' Engine in 2004

Renault boss Flavio Briatore revealed today that the French squad will use a traditional architecture for their engine for the 2004 season, ditching their current wide-angle unit.

Renault to Build 'Traditional' Engine in 2004

Renault boss Flavio Briatore revealed today that the French squad will use a traditional architecture for their engine for the 2004 season, ditching their current wide-angle unit.

"In order to guarantee reliability it will have a 'traditional' architecture, but without any increase in weight," said Briatore today. "It will have a high level of performance because it will benefit significantly from the technological solutions that Viry-Chatillon has developed over the past three years.

"We must adapt to the new regulations. Far from this being a step backwards, however, the innovative expertise of Viry means we will be able to develop a one-weekend engine with weight and performance equal to those of an engine lasting half the distance."

Formula One's regulations are due to change next year when engines will have to last an entire race weekend and manufacturers must make affordable engines available to all teams. Renault have already said that engine expert Jean-Jacques His, expected to join another manufacturer in a different capacity, will be leaving at the end of the month.

Briatore said that, while the wide-angle engine offered a lower centre of gravity than the traditional 90-degree units a good integration with the chassis was a more important factor that could not have been achieved with the current engine.

"Whilst the centre of gravity height of the engine is an important factor, the integration of whole chassis, engine and gearbox package in order to achieve a balanced, stiff package combined with both low mass and low centre of gravity is of greater importance," he added. "The new engine configuration for 2004 will not hinder us in this respect.

"The key part of our strategy is to achieve complete integration of chassis and engine. The new engine will answer a precise brief and 'wish-list' from the Enstone team headed by [technical director] Mike Gascoyne.

"The engine and chassis teams will develop the overall package step-by-step in total synergy. We have implanted at Enstone a small engine branch, Engine Development UK, which will be managed by Viry Project Manager Pascal Tribotte."

Briatore said Renault were hoping that the new engine, to be named RS24, would be in place in mid-January next year.

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