Renault R31 exhaust, Valencia, 2011

Renault’s radical front exit exhausts pictured

2011 F1 testingPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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.

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134 comments on “Renault’s radical front exit exhausts pictured”

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  1. The perfomance benefit here is major, no doubts there. Like anything on the cutting edge it’s going to have teething issues, but if Lotus Renault nail this they might be this years Brawn.

    1. explain please?

      1. The Exhaust gases go under the car to add pressure under the floor which helps suck the car to the ground and also feeds the rear diffusers to add down force. Last years options of having the exhausts exiting through the floor have been outlawed by the new regs to this is renaults solution. However I think I remember the double diffusers increased this effect considerably so I am not sure they will get as much performance increase as last years blown underfloors (although obviously any performance increase helps).

        1. Are you sure a higher pressure under the car doesn’t make a hovercraft?

          I see it working in one of two modes.
          1) The hot exhaust runs or flows along the edges of the under tray, creating low pressure forcing air to migrate towards the edges thereby creating low pressures along the central parts of the under tray Renault could get away with any ordinary diffuser.

          2) The hot gases flow directly underneath the under tray and accelerates towards the diffuser creating very low pressures and increased downforce as the diffuser can work efficiently.

  2. All we can say at this point is that it’s new and fairly radical, so let’s see how well it works.
    People last year stated that the little air inlet of the McLaren’s F-duct system would ruin the aero of the car. We all know how quick the other teams were to copy the system.
    On topic: I have zero technical background, so her are my guesses:
    – Exhausts on those cars come out at high speeds. Relaying them to the front of the car could maybe mimic an aero effect on the diffusor that it would otherwise only benefit when the car is up to speed. I’m thinking faster acceleration or so? Anyone with more technical background an idea on this?

    1. I stated guessES but only gave one…

      The seceond idea, but I already don’t think it’ll be it: could it be beneficial to control the airflow under the car when one is tailing a car in front? Just thinking about this, because the movable wings can only be used in designated area’s of the circuits. So if you’d have another advantage that you can use at all times to tackle the “dirty air” problem…

    2. i am not an expert myself but I thought that this device, if working properly, might increase cornering speed of R31…

  3. Wonder how long till its banned

    1. maybe a whole year? hahaha, hope they keep it though :)

  4. When the car catches fire their livery will be appropriate ;)

    1. Then there’ll be way they can convince those pesky Canadians they’re livery has nothing to do with “smoking” :D

      1. Damn, I meant “there’ll be NO way”

      2. right, it does not have filters, that’t the difference :p

        1. Dazed and Confused
          1st February 2011, 17:09

          right, it does not have filters

          Hey look closely at this photo & you’ll find it does have a filter.

          A symantec filter lol 8)

  5. I only wonder how the system will cope with different amount of fumes generated on different speeds and revs. This could be very significant problem. Changes of downforce in every second could be a cause of serious problems.

    1. Dazed and Confused
      1st February 2011, 16:05

      Changes of downforce in every second could be a cause of serious problems.

      Don’t worry. Renault will use a retarded engine ;) If fact the were the first ones to retard theirs on red bull last year.

      1. DeadManWoking
        1st February 2011, 17:06

        Well if you go by some of the comments here, they already use retarded engineers! ;)

  6. Really cool to see that there’s always some innovation in F1. I hope it works, it shuffles the cards a bit.

    Will they do the same as Red Bull last year, use it only in Q3? RB put their exhaust blow system only to full use in Q3, because of the fact that it needed more RPM’s in slower corners. Or is that also banned now?

    1. Well, they can’t really change the exhausts between Q2 and Q3, then again between Q3 and the race, can they? The exhaust do have to be present all the time, so it would seem a rather permanent feature.

  7. Is that an exhaust or a cooling vent for the engine?

  8. people complain when a car is conservative and looks the same like last years car.

    then when a team comes up with a new idea people complain that it will fail and that there is no point.

    what can you say..

  9. It could be a trick they’ve played to disguise the real location of their exhausts.

    I seem to remember Red Bull having stickers on their car last year to trick people into believing that they didn’t do anything tricky with their exhausts.

    Testing sessions are a prime opportunity for other teams to spy, so there’s lots of games played to hide true innovations. Remember the cardboard covers for diffusers last year?

  10. Interesting. but doubtful it would so effective.

  11. The duct above the exhaust exit is for cold air to enter the car and provide cooling.

    The gas exiting the exhaust will be hundreds of degrees in temp, and hot air rises….

    See what I’m saying?

    I think the hot air could rise and be pshed back into the sidepod vent…

    Imagine if they ‘forgot’ about common sense. :/

    1. Scratch that – I looked at the pics – it’ll be fine ;)

      1. Haha, nice take back :)

  12. Everyone’s crossing their fingers that this will work. Well, I hope it doesn’t. I hope Renault’s season is a miserable failure. They’re a bunch of cheats and they even have the audacity to take another team’s name! So Renault, or Lotus, or whatever the hell you’re called, I hope it doesn’t work out.

    1. Yeah, right, they should have rejected Lotus’ sponsorship.

    2. Time to take your pills, honey.

    3. Are you not happy that the ‘cheats’ have a new identity – they are still Renault, but fresh management along with the long term Lotus investment mean that another high performance team remains in Formula One, which is important after the loss of two big investors in the last few years – BMW and Toyota. Yes, I am glad that new life has been given to Renault, even if I don’t 100% agree with the cirumstances of names and colours.

  13. Nice idea from Lotus-Renault but i’ll reserve judgement until we see some competitive lap times.

  14. I have to say that I dont quite understand. I have no doubt that this concept is technically sound, but im not quite understanding.

    Isnt the idea to create a vacuum under the floor and in the diffuser to generate downforce? How does piping more air under the car (or even into the diffuser) create more downforce? I would think that it would just increase the pressure under the car and thus decrease downforce.

    Any explanation here would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Its to do with increasing the lift (or in this context downforce) coefficient I believe. Making the air hotter causes the density of the air to decrease, therefore reducing the dynamic pressure and increasing the coefficient.

      Basically increasing the lift you get from a set dimension of a wing (or floor of an F1 car)

      1. I should explain, dynamic pressure is just the term for a value that happens to have the same units as pressure. Well its sort of pressure, but not. Thats as far as my lecturer got.

        1. Well Dipak T., I understand your “lift” in combination of what “Calum” wrote above about hot air.

          Combining the two will result to the “understanding” about Hallard was talking about.

          Just my 2cents :)

          1. Im not quite sure what youre getting at

    2. Piping more air, hot air, will make the air move even much faster creating a low pressure, low pressure is what creates lift in an aircraft wing, so its the reverse here.

    3. The car is pushed down towards the ground as a reaction to air shooting up out of the back (think of a rooster tail spray pattern in the wet and imagine the water is air). Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, see, like when you push someone on a swing you have to brace yourself.

      The heavier the air you shoot out the back is, the more you react ie the more downforce.

      Hotter air is denser, so you can fit more of it in the same space as colder air would take up. So point your 800deg exhausts into the front of your diffuser, which is the thing making the air shoot up at the back, and you get more downforce.

      Hope that helps ;)

      1. Hotter air is less dense, using the ideal gas law shows that density of air is inversely proportional to temperature.

      2. Apologies Gridlock, but please don’t make statements when you have no idea what you’re talking about.

        Please don’t just quote Newton’s third law for the sake of it.

  15. StephenAcworth
    1st February 2011, 19:20

    Question: does the fact that the volume of air emitting from the exhaust will change as hot air meets colder air have some effect also? I would have thought this would affect pressure etc… but I am no physicist.

  16. Bloody cool if you ask me!

    I Look forward to seeing how it develops!

  17. It took me a while to understand the picture as it’s very zoomed in and it’s hard to picture it overall with the car. But, if it’s pointing to where I think it is, then it should help like with the defusers from the previous years. How much it’ll help, we may never know.

    Now the next thing is heat. How hot will it get? Will it cause other stresses on the engine due to the new flow for the exhaust air? Remember that teams spend ages designing those curly exhausts for optimal performance and this ones had to bend in a rather un-orthadox fashion.

    Will you lose HP from pushing your exhaust in a bendy way, to gaining aero grip through the exhaust design?

    1. I have read the article where Alan Permane said that the temperatures were OK, they didn’t crossed beyond the accepted limits, plus he said that the system is fine. In addition, when asked about this development, Vitaly said “We can’t talk about this right now, but everything works fine”, plus he said that today he didn’t “push” – these poor lap times were due to problems with the brakes.

  18. Ross Brawn admitted to working on a similar solution according to auto motor und sport. McLaren is also rumored to be working on something even more extreme regarding exhaust.

  19. The question remains that will it work? Renault trying something different when they really needs to be in the front of the grid in 2011 well only time will tell.

  20. i think it would be hilarious if that turned out not to be an exhaust at all but some other innovative doo dah that i have no clue about =P

    smoke and mirrors time

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