Renault admit “litany of issues” with Energy F1

2014 F1 season

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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91 comments on Renault admit “litany of issues” with Energy F1

  1. caci99 (@caci99) said on 31st January 2014, 23:30

    I hope they can solve their problems because it is no good for the sport to writte off a bunch of teams (if their problems are as big as seem to be). To me this underlines the problem with limited testing. Such radical changes need a lot of testing before hand.
    My simple solution to the problem, inspired by the double points, is to half the points for the first three races as well :P

    • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 1st February 2014, 8:01

      if you have unlimited testing . Ferrari and Merc would win everything. SO I would say more testing rather than a lot .

      • caci99 (@caci99) said on 1st February 2014, 9:10

        @hamilfan Well of course, but I think some things need tests. No one, until today as far as I know, has ever released a product of such complexity out of the box with only some indoor simulation and without testing it in real world where it would operate. Anyway, I wait for the next test to see how much of a problem this seem to be, hope things will sort out by that time.

      • Juzh (@juzh) said on 1st February 2014, 13:09

        @hamilfan
        Why would merc and ferrari win everything if unlimited testing? RB has the largest budget of all teams on the grid. I’m just curious what makes you think that.

  2. HoHum (@hohum) said on 1st February 2014, 3:42

    I wonder if they are trying to be to clever with the turbocharger and it’s so called thermal energy collector, it sounded almost as if they are trying to control the the turbo rpm electronically, could be a great idea IF it works but also a reliability liability of enormous consequence considering how high a turbo revs and how rapidly it has to respond to acellerator input.

  3. Ean (@ean) said on 1st February 2014, 6:38

    Enjoy it as long as you can. Mark my words. Red Bull is going to be on the front row in Australia

  4. How come I just can’t help feeling a bit like Kyle did when he found out Cartman had AIDS….?

  5. Matt (@mattf1f) said on 1st February 2014, 11:10

    Red Bull are where they are because they have worked harder than the other teams. I remember this is how Vettel described their late season domination last year. So have they worked less now?

  6. Luca Nuvolari (@nuvolari71) said on 1st February 2014, 13:20

    Maybe we will never know if Newey did the usual great job this year:)

  7. mr ROSSI (@mr-rossi) said on 1st February 2014, 13:26

    Looks like viry chatillon has a LOT of work to do QUICKLY !

  8. uan (@uan) said on 1st February 2014, 14:44

    This is about engineering. In engineering, things not working can be as beneficial, even more so, then when everything does work.

    Imagine the Renault working well in Bahrain but the Merc and Ferrari engines having trouble with the heat? Folks will be writing off the season again saying it’s going to be Red Bull domination again.

    I recall in 1994 when the Williams came out of the blocks stumbling, with Senna not finishing the first 3 races (tragically with the 3rd), yet with Hill, they came within 1 point of the Championship.

    With engineering, and F1 in particular, it’s never about the first iteration of something, it’s the development of it. It’s about the quality of the team that is in place, and the processes they have. They aren’t there because of a fluke or because they’re punching above their weight, rather Renault and RBR have shown themselves capable of excellent engineering development. I don’t foresee a Mclaren-esque 2013 on the horizon for them at this point.

  9. Engines have to be finalised and homologated at the end of february right? Going to be a busy month at Renault.

  10. kpcart said on 1st February 2014, 18:44

    This is a sad situation for Renault. Renault were the first with turbos in F1, and the first with v10 engines, and they have had massive success in those eras. In the past decade, Renault have had a lot of success again, but it is mainly because of the success of the car their engine is installed in, because they have been far from the best in F1 engine performance since the late 90s, they have been underpowered ever since, behind manufacturers like Mercedes, Ferrari, BMW and Toyota at all times. Maybe, this is the year that will break Renault, they have produced an inferior engine for the past decade and a half, but the changes in the formula have not seen them suffer so much for the difference. With this years overhaul, maybe we finally realise that Renault is not what it was 20 years ago at Williams. Renault had the most KERS issues of the manufacturers in the past few years, and it looks to be continueing in 2014 with the ERS battery failures in Renault equipped cars. I feel that Redbull’s expertise at producing a great car will not be enough this year because of RENAULT mechanicals, and it might be a year we see Redbull cars behind Mercedes engined and Ferrari engined cars.

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