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

  1. Dan Selby said on 1st February 2011, 14:42

    It’s hilarious!

    You guys should be working for the Renault technical department and remind them that they’re wasting their time!

    Sorry to sound sarcastic but i’m with GeorgeTuk here – i’m sure there’s a good reason for Renault trying this. Until they drive a car ‘in anger’, it’s sometimes hard to judge how effective a new part is.

    For any of us to say “oh that’s silly – there’s no benefit there” is actually beyond ridiculous.

    This site is meant for intelligent discussion, and that’s all i’ve seen since i’ve regularly visited this site, but this is a wee bit silly…

    C’mon people – it’s fine to have an opinion, but we’re not the ones getting paid thousands to design Formula One cars.

  2. Icthyes said on 1st February 2011, 14:53

    If they point forward, doesn’t the air rushing into the exhausts blow the fumes back or something? I’m missing something important here.

    Anyway, if the McLaren is as radical as is rumoured, all this just vindicates their decision to delay introducing their car.

    • Icthyes said on 1st February 2011, 14:56

      Oh, I get it. They come out of the front but actually point backwards.

      • Randy (@randy) said on 1st February 2011, 15:45

        No, they actually point forward, as i understand it. The exhaust just sits very low under the airbox, there’s no airflow (it is behind the wheel) and it’s a low pressure zone.

        BTW i love the comments “that is just silly, it won’t work.” – like no one in Renault at any point during the whole year of extensive design, calculations, wind-tunnel tests, stress-tests, temperature analysis and fitting ask himself is it really worth it.

        • DeadManWoking said on 1st February 2011, 17:26

          No, they actually point sideways though angled slightly towards the back and as it’s behind the bargeboard there would be air flowing across the opening creating a possible chimney effect to speed the exhaust flow as per Bernoulli’s principle.

  3. David McVey said on 1st February 2011, 14:55

    Often, a couple of teams sumble across the same innovation. Maybe Mclaren have something similar and thought it worth hiding.

    Well the cat is out of the bag now.

    I think it will provide a performance benefit but routing the exhaust so near the radiators could cause a cooling headache. If their KERS batteries are down there too it could be dangerous.

  4. Toxic (@toxic) said on 1st February 2011, 14:57

    For me as for now Renault is the most technically new car on the grid and I would really love to see them fighting for wins. There is no fun without the risk. They said that they took the brave course and we all can see that it’s true.

  5. beaker said on 1st February 2011, 15:00

    i assume they have consider carbon monoxide poisoning of the driver. ;)

  6. 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.

    • Deurmat said on 1st February 2011, 15:12

      explain please?

      • 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).

        • Oliver said on 1st February 2011, 21:28

          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.

  7. Bäremans said on 1st February 2011, 15:16

    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?

    • Bäremans said on 1st February 2011, 15:19

      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…

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

  8. Wonder how long till its banned

  9. Autopulated (@autopulated) said on 1st February 2011, 15:29

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

  10. Xighor said on 1st February 2011, 15:43

    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.

    • Dazed and Confused said on 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.

  11. verstappen said on 1st February 2011, 15:53

    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?

    • bosyber said on 1st February 2011, 18:46

      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.

  12. Racefan said on 1st February 2011, 16:01

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

  13. vjanik said on 1st February 2011, 16:26

    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..

  14. DavidS (@davids) said on 1st February 2011, 16:39

    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?

  15. Eggry (@eggry) said on 1st February 2011, 16:55

    Interesting. but doubtful it would so effective.

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