Renault to reduce vee-angle

Renault Sport has confirmed that its Formula 1 engine for next year will be considerably less radical in design as it bids to take on the sport's big three teams - Ferrari, Williams-BMW and McLaren-Mercedes

Renault to reduce vee-angle

Renault has pursued a wide-angle V10 engine route since its return to F1, but has now decided to ditch its 106-degree unit in favour of a more conventional specification as the sport's rules lean towards longer life powerplants. The first RS24A engine has already been bench tested at its engine plant at Viry-Châtillon, France.

"Reliability will be our number one priority for next season," said Léon Taillieu, project director for the RS24 engine. "The reason behind our choice of this new architecture is that it will be less technically risky than its predecessor. We began working in March 2003, and the project spec focuses not only on the vital 700km reliability target, but also packaging, weight and power. The latter should come quite quickly."

Of the choice to switch to a narrower vee-angle, Renault chassis designer Mark Smith said: "The decision was taken well before the outside world knew about it. We have been able to work closely with out colleagues in France from the very beginning of the project, and we won't suffer at all in terms of packaging or stiffness. We have had enough time to give the car characteristics that are at least as good as the 2003 car in these areas."

Taillieu says that the plan is for the RS24 unit to run in conjunction with the gearbox for the first time on the test bench within the next six weeks.

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