Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Jerez, 2014

Renault admit “litany of issues” with Energy F1

2014 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Jerez, 2014A “litany of issues” have prevented Renault from achieving meaningful running with their Energy F1 power unit, according to deputy managing director Rob White.

Renault-powered cars covered 668km during the first test at Jerez, while Ferrari completed nearly 2,000km and Mercedes in excess of 3,800km. Renault-powered world champions Red Bull covered the least distance of any team present at the test – less than 100km.

White said the root of Renaut’s problems had been traced back to inaccurate information gleaned from their engine dynamometer.

“We now know that the differences between dyno and car are bigger than we expected, with the consequence that our initial impressions were incomplete and imperfect.

“Our intention was to run the car; we are very frustrated to face this litany of issues that we should have ironed out on the dyno and which have deprived us of a precious learning opportunity.”

“We have not run enough laps, and when we have they have not been run at an acceptable performance level,” he added.

The engine supplier faced a range of different problems as a result.

“The underlying causes are not straightforward,” White explained. “There isn?t a single component or system that has caused particular trouble.”

“A number of related things have been troublesome, principally concerning the control and operation of the various sub-systems of the power unit within the car.

“For example on the first run day, we had problems with a sub-system within the energy store that did not directly concern either the battery nor the operation of the battery ?ǣ it is an electronic part that was in the same housing as the energy store.

“We subsequently had problems with turbocharger and boost control systems with knock-on effects on the associated engine management systems, subsequently provoking mechanical failures.

Renault have made several attempts to solve the problems, with varying degrees of success. “Between days one and two with the help of Red Bull, we implemented a later level of hardware for the rest of the test to address the problem within the energy store. This ran for the remaining days.”

“In parallel to running in Jerez, the team at Viry has run dyno test programs to investigate the trackside problems and to propose solutions.

“We identified the probable root cause of our main turbo control issues, implemented some workarounds that were first seen at the end of day three and deployed in the three cars for day four. This established a very minimalist baseline from which we could build.”

“We recognise that when the cars have run, they are not running at an acceptable level,” White added.

“We are a long way from the type of operation we had planned and prepared for ?ǣ largely as a result of the workarounds we have implemented ?ǣ but all the information is useful.

“In dealing with the issues we have moved further away from the configuration we were comfortable with, which has resulted in the relatively slow times, but the running has given us a vastly greater understanding of the issues we face.

“We absolutely expect to have a more definitive solution in place for the next session in Bahrain.”

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