After a lack of significant progress with their engine in 2018 Renault has taken the decision to design an all-new engine for it’s 2019 campaign.
This comes after it’s introduction of it’s C-Spec engine in Monza which only Red Bull run due to reliability concerns. The engine did prove to have some extra pace but it’s reliability issues showed for Verstappen throughout the Singapore Grand Prix.
Renault will also have noticed the progress that Honda have made this season but Honda have perhaps outspent Renault in this regard something that Cyril Abiteboul is concerned about.
“It may be paying dividends for Honda now, but at some point it will be untenable for one of the four – and who knows what will happen then.”
Abiteboul told Autosport why it was Renault decided to start again with their engine design.
“One of the reasons for it, and why the Spec-C is not delivering more in terms of performance, is because we are held back by the structural limitations of the engine.”
“Given the ambition in terms of power improvement for next year, pretty much all of the engine will be new,”
“Not only on ERS side, because there is little power and little performance to extract there, but the rest of the ICE will be new.
Abiteboul also showed some frustration at the current engine regulations which means that teams only have an allocation of 3 per engine component before grid penalties are incurred.
“That is what is silly with the current regulations, even if you have a better part you cannot afford to introduce it because of all the penalties and all the sporting consequences. That is crazy.”
“You are spending money to improve your parts, you approve it on dyno, it is available, built, there [at the circuit], and you cannot put it on the car.”
We all want to see both Renault and Honda competitive for next season but both will have to overcome a big gulf in performance to Mercedes and Ferrari. Renault’s biggest deficit appears to be in Qualifying where both Mercedes and Ferrari are able to run higher engine modes than Renault, this is again due to the lack of the reliability that the engine shows. Renault are looking to improve the power significantly for next season but do not want to compromise reliability.
“That is why we need to be a little bit careful and we need to be extremely drastic and have lots of discipline on planning and milestones to make sure we are not putting ourselves in a difficult position at the start of the season.”
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