Renault asks for F1 engine freeze extension as big boss Ghosn says situation is serious

Carlos Ghosn

Carlos Ghosn

Renault has asked for an extension to Friday’s deadline for the development freeze of its troubled Formula 1 V6 turbo power unit, used by Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Caterham and Lotus.

Actually, the homologation deadline is Friday at midnight, when the basic performance specifications of Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault’s new power units are set to be formally homologated by Formula 1’s governing body.

But Auto Motor und Sport reports that Renault, grappling so obviously with its new V6 and related systems, asked the FIA for a postponement of the deadline on Thursday.

Correspondent Michael Schmidt claims that Renault, supplier to the reigning world champion team Red Bull and three others, has asked for “two to three” more months to get to the bottom of its technical problems.

The Renault V6 turbo power unit has had a troubled infancy

The Renault V6 turbo power unit has had a troubled infancy

Renault’s request will be on the agenda at Friday’s meeting of the strategy group in London, Schmidt added.

It is reported that Renault president Carlos Ghosn has already met with FIA president Jean Todt “to convince him of the seriousness of the situation”.

Renault issued a statement saying: “Renault is providing the reference Power Unit and appropriate supplementary material to the FIA, as per today’s homologation deadline. There is a background request from some teams for alternative proposals (as will be discussed by the strategy group today) that regard some parts and components. However, the basic requirements of the homologation deadline will be delivered today as mandated by the FIA.” (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

  • karlich

    Tada… surprise surprise! Ah well, let’s say Ferrari join the cause seeing that they aren’t entirely up to snuff either, and Jean Todt being French and ex-Ferrari will push for an extension for his 2 darlings. The Germans will kick and scream and finally strike a deal for some other favor. Mmmh… love F1 :)

  • karlich

    Elsewhere the $#@7 also just hit the fan as the FOTA dissolved and Maldonado fried the E22 :D

  • http://batman-news.com BRIT MEDIA AT IT AGAIN

    The answer is NO.
    Everyone had the same amount of time to design and build and proof their new engines.
    Obviously they do not just want to make their engine reliable.They want to bump up the power to get closer to the Mercs power. FACT!
    If the FIA accept this they must put a cap on their power and tell them to make it reliable only. Bet then they will get it reliable within 2 weeks and not 2 months as requested.
    Dirty politics.

  • Matthias O’keeffe

    The FIA should not give them time anymore… They were given lots of time to build the engine… But since they wanted to waste their time by helping Red Bull till the end of the season, that’s their own carelessness..

  • McLarenfan

    And who didn’t see this one coming?
    Now if the FIA let them continue to develop their “POWERUNIT”. They have to give the other 2 manufactures more time to work on their own units.
    I AM SURE THAT WON’T GO DOWN WELL. IN FRANCE!!!

  • karlich

    Well, on one hand, I totally agree with you. On the other, let’s suppose they truly are 165hp down on Mercedes and Ferrari somewhere around 75hp – that would result in 7 teams being mildly to grossly underpowered for a whole season and at a large disadvantage for several seasons to come. No good for F1 viewer ratings. Thus no good. And that is also FACT!

    Personally, I’d let teams test throughout the season and get away with engine development freeze. Costs? Oh get over it already!

  • karlich

    Suppose Honda enters 2015 with an engine 150hp richer than the Merc – you think Merc wouldn’t complain “Oi, but them lads had a year to look over our shoulders and sneak out some data from McLaren all while we were busy racing… this ain’t fair”?

  • Ankit

    I hardly think Ferrari will join the “cause” And who knows if they are sandbagging or not? Besides that I think you’re just hoping that Ferrari joins your “cause” so that your darling Red Bull Renault can be benefited. Don’t include Ferrari into this :)

  • mopar21222

    I wonder where Honda is on their development and if RB can convince them to roll out their engine for the first European races? RB clearly have performance clauses in their contract with Renault, so they could break the contract. However I can’t see Merc or Ferrari giving them an engine…

  • karlich

    Hehe, alright, well just saying, hypothetically. I am not a journalist sworn in to truthful reporting. Besides, a few extra ponies really wouldn’t hurt that prancing horse by the looks of it – sandbagging or not :P

  • karlich

    And I can’t see Honda joining the party early and risk being laughed at. Neither can I see McLaren being too happy if Honda were to peddle their engine to a team that’s been a thorn in their… umm… tyres? for the last few years.

  • KevinW

    Honda could be making puddles in their pants right now, seeing the pasting Renault is getting. They are going to do whatever they can to avoid such an embarrassing situation, again. That aside, the agreement with McLaren is exclusive and Infiniti is RB title sponsor. The likelihood of a tie between RB and Honda is thus… nil, nadda, zip. Lotus is in a similar situation, having long term ties to Renault that are going to be very hard to break.

  • Hugo Lafreniere

    Can he explain, then, why just YESTERDAY, Remi Taffin, Renault’s head of trackside operations, said that «Friday’s Formula 1 engine homologation deadline poses no major worry, even though it has not yet fully solved all the problems with its new power unit»?????

  • KevinW

    Time is only a small part of this issue. Mercedes has massive resources to tap into, which they are putting to use. If I have 100 people, $1MM and 6 months to do a job, against another with the same 6 months, 500 people and $25MM to do the same job, it is obvious I am not going to get to the same level as they do. Renault – and to the same degree Ferrari, simply do not, and did not have the same resources to work with that Mercedes brought to bear. If we say that’s all fair and good, screw Renault, then F1 will rapidly decline into a single engine make series, as the others eventually fade from lack of competitiveness against the one committing the most money and people to the job. That will end Mercedes one day, as the likes of Honda or Toyota can out spend them by a factor of 5 without breaking a sweat, and they start with much more experience in the hybrid technologies involved to tap into. While it stinks that Renault is off the mark, it is obviously a complex formula, and they should be allowed latitude to recover to some degree, and since this give all PU suppliers a chance to make progress, it remains fair. When the hard date was set so many months ago, it was not possible to anticipate every outcome. Adjust the date, give all teams a little more time, and lets see F1 continue without being even more stupid than its been to date. Holding Renault to the fire only damages F1, and takes their customers out of the championship for no reason but to be rigid and short sighted.

  • KevinW

    One has to wonder what would happen if they just blew the deadline off. Is the F1 and the FIA ready for another PR disaster like Indy 2005 by disqualifying 8 Renault powered cars for the season just a week prior to Australia? Starting the season with a grid absent the 4X world champs seems kinda nasty, and a sure way to create more media noise over the mess than the excitement of a new season being kicked off. Seems highly unlikely. So it’s probable there will be an extension of some sort allowed – even if there are teams who have reservations about it.

  • Shane Phillips

    While I’m as sick of Red Bull domination as most other fans, if F1 ends up in a situation where cars keep dropping out of races because their engines aren’t up to scratch it won’t do anyone any favours. For me homologation this early was always going to be a challenge. The deadline should be extended in my opinion.

  • jim

    Your argument was decent except you put Ferrari and Renault in the same category. Which btw I agree. Resource wise they are probably very close. But the problem is that Ferrari is ready so the we don’t have the resources excuse just doesn’t hold water.

  • RBC

    So it’s not fair when one team has more money and staff compared to other teams… Like Red Bull has. Renault never bolted their engine together and tested it in unison, just the individual parts. That is retarded and they deserve all this pain for being so dumb.

  • KevinW

    We don’t know that is true actually.

  • KevinW

    Fair point to be sure. Question is, is Ferrari really ready? They have not done a full race distance simulation, and while they have done better than Renault in some measures, they are still well off Mercedes at this point, and have only covered half the miles. We’ll see in Australia just how prepared Ferrari is and how much difference their is between them and Renault… With only two other teams to support, their workload is less as well.

    BTW, nobody said this all had to be fair. If Renault don’t cut it, just like it has been in the past, they suffer for it. If fans are okay with seeing the driver championship skewed by the teams PU supplier agreement, then its cool to tell Renault to bugger off and suck it up.

  • Peter Scandlyn

    The same could be said if Cosworth get on board and kick butt.

  • Peter Scandlyn

    Well we had reports of Ferrari and Mercedes ‘mules’ out there testing; not so Renault. Major snafu? I find it hard to believe they weren’t but there you go.

  • RBC

    Renault said that the parts worked perfectly on the dyno, but when they put them all together in the car the parts didn’t communicate with each other perfectly. So they said it. They never ran the whole package with the gearbox etc as one. Ferrari has a La Ferrari running on a track. Renault were lazy.

  • karlich

    Well, so much for that. Request has been denied.

  • RBC

    The WDC has always been skewed by the performance aspects of each car. What is different this year?