Renault’s radical front exit exhausts pictured

2011 F1 testing

The Renault R31 has been pictured sporting a radical exhaust arrangement.

The R31′s exhausts point out of the front of the sidepods, directing hot air underneath the car to improve the performance of the diffuser.

See Craig Scarborough’s article on his site for an explanation of how the exhaust works.

2011 F1 testing

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134 comments on Renault’s radical front exit exhausts pictured

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  1. Argent said on 1st February 2011, 14:04

    Wow, I was wrong. Alright, for their sake I hope that this system doesn’t significantly reduce engine power or cause other issues. Very interesting idea…

    • drowsy (@drowsy) said on 1st February 2011, 15:36

      That can’t be the only exhaust pipe, otherwise the engine would fail, especially in high temperatures, probably it’s a secondary pipe blowing to the front for some kind of effect on the diffuser, but they still have the normal exhaust pipes at the rear.

    • johnno said on 1st February 2011, 16:57

      “we’re on the brave end of brave” no kidding!

  2. luigismen (@luigismen) said on 1st February 2011, 14:04

    I don’t know why I don’t believe in this system, I’m guessing it won’t work as they expected

    • Damon (@damon) said on 1st February 2011, 16:39

      Wow, awesome. Your “guess” against months of sophisticated analysis using advanced technical methods by the best engineers in the world.
      I wonder who’s right…

      • Haha snap. It’s like when my girlfriend goes ‘naaaaah’, when I tell her something will or won’t work. Then she finds out I’m right… Every time :)

      • The edge said on 1st February 2011, 19:42

        I didn’t realise they’ed borrowed so mclaren guys, where did you read that?

  3. Todfod (@todfod) said on 1st February 2011, 14:06

    I really doubt it will work as well as they think it will.

    • SirCoolbeans (@sircoolbeans) said on 1st February 2011, 14:53

      Because you have much more experience than them?

      lol, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you write a positive comment.

      • I think its a fare comment, it will be hard to get it to work… and they didn’t get much running, read into that what you will.

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 2nd February 2011, 10:48

        @SirCoolbeans.. according to your logic none of us should post anything on F1, considering that we have no F1 experience.

        Well I post what I feel like posting.. not positive, happy or inspirational comments. If you want that .. go watch some motivational speaker talk.

  4. Ned Flanders said on 1st February 2011, 14:10

    Now this all seems technichally interesting and innovative, but is it actually going to make the car go significantly quicker, or is it just innovation for the sake of it?

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 1st February 2011, 14:15

      I suppose it does have its troubles, if not this, than why did Petrov spend the largest part of the morning in the garage?

      Curious to find out weather it works for them, other teams will have their work cut out to replicate that with the packaging, heat, engine tuning etc. to make it work.

      • bosyber said on 1st February 2011, 18:13

        Maybe the guys from McLaren are now busily shaving the radiator and fitting and cutting to get a similar system able to fit on their car before launch so they can work on introducing it 2nd :-p

    • Do you think anything an F1 team does is just for the sake of doing it?

    • DeadManWoking said on 1st February 2011, 16:32

      It’s going to have a far greater effect on performance than the livery or the driver’s helmet colors! 8)

    • Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 1st February 2011, 16:35

      Well, I suppose it’s better to try something revolutionary than to rest on your laurels. Something average isn’t going to get you to the front…

  5. Chotazas said on 1st February 2011, 14:11

    ***?If it works FIA it´s going to receive lot of crying letters.LoL. Wanna know the exactly purpose.

  6. Peek-a-boo!

    Well that secret didn’t last long did it, I think teams will wait to see the (if) any benefits before furiously scurrying around and copying it.

  7. Anatoly Nechaev said on 1st February 2011, 14:12

    Julien, how does it sound?
    Some say it’s awful…

  8. Anatoly Nechaev said on 1st February 2011, 14:14

    BTW, nice diversion with the orange stripes 8)

  9. Rob Wilson said on 1st February 2011, 14:14

    I fail to see how having your exhaust there holds any advantage performace wise. Anybody think they know??

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 1st February 2011, 14:20

      The idea is, it blows the whole floor to get air speeding up and make the underbody more efficient.

      See explanation by Craig Scarborough, he is great at these things.

      Great in detail pics, you and Julien get the scoop on this together with ScrabsF1!

    • Rob Haswell said on 1st February 2011, 14:28

      Maybe it doesn’t work at all and Renault just want to waste everybody’s time trying to copy it

  10. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 1st February 2011, 14:15

    wonder if directing the exhaust opposite to where the car goes affects the performance of the engine. Specially going fast…

  11. Leftie (@leftie) said on 1st February 2011, 14:20

    I think because of letting it leak that easily the benefits aren’t that high or seriously questionable. On the other hand you can test it only on track and nowhere else so maybe Renault had no choice.
    Very clever solution, but my less knowledgeable mind doesn’t leads me to see serious benefit here. Isn’t it too long for exhaust pipe or too long for gases to travel to place where they actually generate downforce? I think there’s more to that in the floor design, but that’s the bit that’s very well hidden.

    From the day one of testing this season shapes up bloody nice!

    • BadAss said on 1st February 2011, 14:37

      They could try out that exhaust in wind tunnel.
      As for the gases, they might be sucked out by the pressure created under the floor (i think)

      • Leftie (@leftie) said on 1st February 2011, 15:59

        They could test it only by putting real car with a real engine in a tunnel and i’m not sure Renault has 1:1 wind tunnel.

        CFD much more likely, but CFD needs to be proven on track even more than numbers from a wind tunnel do.

        • bananarama said on 1st February 2011, 18:24

          Isn’t 1:1 model testing banned anyway?

          • Leftie (@leftie) said on 1st February 2011, 20:47

            is it? i can’t quite recall. if it is, then it must come from RRA, not the FIA rules

          • DeadManWoking said on 2nd February 2011, 2:19

            2011 FORMULA ONE SPORTING REGULATIONS
            22) TRACK AND WIND TUNNEL TESTING
            22.1
            a)iii) four one day aerodynamic tests carried out on FIA approved straight line or constant radius sites between 1 January 2010 and the end of the last Event of the Championship. Any of these days may be substituted for four hours of wind-on full scale wind tunnel testing to be carried out in a single twenty four hour period.

            h) With the exception of the full scale testing permitted in 22.1(a) above, no wind tunnel testing may be
            carried out using a scale model which is greater than 60% of full size.
            i) No wind tunnel testing may be carried out at a speed exceeding 50 metres/second.

            No 1:1 wind tunnel testing except

    • Homogolation? I’m not sure that you could change something significant as this quickly. One thing I’d expect is reliability problems, ala Red Bull when they first brought in the EBD.

  12. Dipak T said on 1st February 2011, 14:30

    See only if F1 could get back to things like this, but to do with engine configurations etc. Even im staring to get tired of the contant chase for aero, and this is all about aero. Thank god for the pull/push rod suspension I suppose, and good luck to Renault if they can get it to work properly.

    I wonder if this what McLaren have been extending the lead time to perfect?

  13. Ben Curly said on 1st February 2011, 14:31

    I think it’s a risky idea, but I don’t know enough about it yet. I hope it works out for them, but there are some heat related issues, which can cause a variety of troubles.

  14. GeorgeTuk (@georgetuk) said on 1st February 2011, 14:36

    Ha love the comments from some above openly doubting the system when they havent:

    a) Seen any plans
    b) Don’t know the purpose
    c) Haven’t the experience of designing an F1 car (well certainly not this years as you would be busy now!).

    • Anatoly Nechaev said on 1st February 2011, 14:45

      Isn’t a goal of public forum like this to discus, criticize and brainstorm such ideas?

      Even if we don’t poses “experience of designing an F1 car” doesn’t mean we don’t have any knowledge in physics and aerodynamics.

      • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 1st February 2011, 15:34

        @ Anatoly

        I don’t think he means we don’t have an idea about aerodynamics, because most of us do have a rough idea. He means to say that the people designing these cars aren’t in it for no reason.

        If the car’s a flop and the system proves to be a failure, then yes, we can shoot the concept down.

    • Glorstensen (@glorstensen) said on 1st February 2011, 14:45

      Yeah there will alway’s be experts, and their ‘ideas’ and ‘thoughts’ are perfect, and we shall her them… Ofcourse we shouldn’t doubt their opinion, they know better than the mechanics from Enstone for sure!

    • Maciek said on 1st February 2011, 14:47

      My thoughts exactly… it’s like when the very first pictures of the car launches come out and immediately people give their VERY STRONG opinion that the car either sucks or will blow away the competition… silly, really.

      • Ben Curly said on 1st February 2011, 14:56

        I didn’t see “very strong” opinions about this. People have doubts, and I think some of these doubts are reasonable. We will see. I hope it works for Renault, as I want their drivers to have a car they can push to the limits and fight for the ultimate prize.

        • Maciek said on 1st February 2011, 16:57

          I don’t think that reasonable is the apt word – reasonable as based on what? which way the wind blows? tea leaves? hunches based on nothing but hunches? I haven’t seen any technical reasons given – because no one here knows more than what their eyes tell them, and when it comes to internal workings, that amounts to nothing at all.

          Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but it’s fun when they’re at least mildly informed and based on at least a hint of tangible knowledge.

          • Argent (@argent) said on 1st February 2011, 17:58

            Longer exhaust piping with more bends equates to more resistance (back pressure) that can cause reduced power and decreased fuel economy to compensate. The increased downforce will have to be worth the trade-off to make it worthwhile, and I hope that it is.

          • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 1st February 2011, 18:49

            Maciek, contrary to what you believe some people here are quite familiar with technical aspects of motorsport. There are engineers watching F1, imagine that. The fact, that you don’t know understand potential shortcomings of such solution, doesn’t mean that everyone is just as ignorant.

            Keith pointed you to an excellent Craig Scarborough’s analysis of this innovation. This should give you at the very least a basic idea.

            Yes, we don’t know the internal workings, but we can imagine what problems Renault engineers were facing when they had to figure them out to create an efficient design. It is not easy.

            And sometimes even F1 engineers don’t get it right. I could list numerous ideas that didn’t work out in Formula One, although they were thought out by very smart people. There are doubts over this, and I agree with Ben – these doubts are not baseless. And the fact that Renault spent most of today’s session in the garage certainly doesn’t help to clear these doubts.

            I wish them all the best. I hope this solution works and I know that it can work. Right now I reserve my judgment until I see more.

          • Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 1st February 2011, 19:24

            According to Adam Cooper, Renault suffered from brake line leak. The team confirmed it

            http://www.f1technical.net/news/15906

            Please don’t jump into conclusions.

          • Maciek said on 1st February 2011, 20:55

            @MaroonJack
            All you say is well taken – but of course the many, many comments I was referring to had nothing at all like arguments or knowledge to present, but just poo-pooed the idea in the space of a few syllables without suggesting any reason for it, which got simply under my skin. I meant no offence to anyone with interesting things to say…

    • Argent said on 1st February 2011, 15:28

      George,

      People that say that you can’t comment on anything unless you have experience with it are making an asinine point. If you don’t have kids, and see a parent beating their child senseless would you accept their response if they said ‘you don’t know what’s it like being a parent’? I doubt it.

      • Maciek said on 1st February 2011, 17:01

        Speaking of asinine points, how did you work child-beating into this? Aside from the example, sure you make valid point, in theory – but in fact, no one here knows what’s going on inside that Renault – so how does saying “I don’t think it’ll work” amount to anything other than “bah-humbug”?

        What is it about Renault and Kubica that seems to get the automatic skeptics out in droves?

        • Argent (@argent) said on 1st February 2011, 18:04

          I was illustrating the absurd by being absured—just because we aren’t engineers doesn’t mean that we can’t comment on technical developments. Perhaps I just shouldn’t have jumped to a nuclear example.

          I’m not against Kubica; he has really impressed me—especially last year’s near error free season!

          • Maciek said on 1st February 2011, 18:40

            All’s cool, Argent, I wasn’t implying that you were being overly critical – just the overall impression I’ve had since last season. Thanks for the info on exhaust above – it’s certainly more than I knew : ) although if you look at where the engine is placed in these cars, routing the exhaust beneath the sidepods might not require either more length or more ‘bends’ than the standard solution, depending on how it’s done…?

        • Argent said on 1st February 2011, 20:22

          Mac,
          I get a bit over zealous with examples sometimes, so it was fair of you to pounce on that.

          Regarding the bends, I’m assuming the Renault did everything in their power to get the exhaust pips as straight a shot to the front as possible; however, my concern with the bends is the primarily rooted in the size of the fuel cell and the placement of the KERS batteries (if applicable). The team will want to have the fuel cell as low as possible to keep the center of gravity equally as low, but if we are to believe that they are fairly straight the exhaust pipes would undoubtedly run past the fuel cell en route to barge board / front sidepod exit. Therefore, my feeling is that they are run in an elongated curve that follows the curvature of the sidepod floor in effort to keep it away from the fuel cell. With this method, the only abrubt change in direction would be the exit. Perhaps Renault have solved any back pressure problems by using the front splitter to direct and accelerate the airflow down the inside of the barge boards in front of the outlets to assist with drawing the exhaust gasses out of the system.

          If this actually works effectively, I really hope that the FIA doesn’t jump all over this to ban such a unique, innovative solution. The only argument that I think could be made to ban it is because the exhaust outlet looks like it is split in half, and it could be argued that this, in effect, creates four outlets–Article 5.6 explicitly states that there can only be two exits. Though what I’m seeing may just be some kind of directional vane that doesn’t go much further than an inch or two.

          • Maciek said on 1st February 2011, 21:07

            Took my non-technical mind some concentration to work through that, but I think I can visualise what you mean fairly well. Hmm, would love to get my little hands on their blueprints, that’s for sure…

    • Leftie (@leftie) said on 1st February 2011, 16:10

      Well that’s what a forums are all about, isn’t it? We’re by no means F1 engineers here, but that shouldn’t stop us from speculating about and discussing techs – it’s one of the purposes of online communities. Such logic might lead to a conclusion that we have no right to talk about race strategies, since none of us own a supercomputer cluster to run simulations and doesn’t have a degree at mathematical modelling to program it properly. We’re enthusiasts (fanatics!) – not pros, so we are talking about things at our level. It’s sort of like two unemployed blokes in a pub discussing issues of international politics, yes but why not? :)

  15. David B (@david-b) said on 1st February 2011, 14:38

    Anyway it appears to be the only new idea.
    The rest of the cars really look so similar each other!!!

    • Trained eye can see a heck of a lot of differences. I’m not a trained eye, or an owner of one, but having been looking very closely at them, I can see a plethora of variations. For me, I’ve seen more this year than any other so far. I guess it’s subjective.

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