Renault: Melbourne will be an anxious weekend! 3 March, 2014 Rob White In the aftermath of the problem packed final Formula 1 pre-season test in Bahrain, albeit less so than the first two editions at Jerez and Bahrain, Renault has released a Q&A with Renault Sport F1 Deputy Managing Director (Technical) Rob White. How was the second Bahrain test from a Renault perspective? White: The aim of the last test session before Australia was to recover some of the lost ground from the previous test sessions and to rehearse the grand prix. We wanted each of our four teams to be able to approach a normal race weekend without having to improvise any of the procedures or operations needed. We can’t escape the fact that we did not complete the entire programme with all the teams and that some Melbourne preparations are incomplete. On the up-side, we have done some of everything, with simulations of qualifying sessions, starts, race distances and long stints and it is fair to say that once again we have made some real progress. We have cured or found workarounds for some of the problems that we had previously identified. New problems revealed as we ran more have added to the unsolved items, and have disrupted running, which is disappointing for our teams. Have there been any major issues this time round? White: In terms of down-time, we see that minor incidents can veer off into major ones and cause significant downtime. This is an example of the immaturity of our PU; we do not have all of the fail-safe and limp-home modes we would consider normal in this stage. This contributes to the loss of track time when a small issue does occur. As we go forward we expect to be able to take these things in our stride rather than have a major failure as a result of minor problem. When running, this immaturity makes itself known as shortcomings in torque delivery or ‘drivability’, which make it tricky for the drivers to find the performance limit of the car. And what have been the key learnings over the testing period? White: We have started to converge on a configuration of car that is more like when we have run the engine back on the dynos in Viry. We’ve increased the level of performance at which the PU can be operated, and we’ve made strides in terms of how energy is managed round the circuit. Additionally we have made some headway on troubleshooting our control systems. What is the plan now pre-Melbourne? White: Between now and Melbourne we have a number of items to cover. We need to consolidate all of the lessons learned across all the teams. We need to review all the accumulated data and compare and contrast to get the best out of it so the starting point for all of the Renault-powered cars is as good as it can be. Second, we must progress further on the torque delivery of the PU felt by the drivers. This will include software and calibration work, with simulator and dyno and validation. Thirdly there is the logistical challenge of getting the race Power Units built and shipped to Australia. That process is well under way and will be finished next week. Has the Renault Energy F1-2014 Power Unit undergone the necessary homologation process? White: Yes, the relevant documents and a reference Power Unit have been submitted to the FIA within the deadlines in the Sporting Rules. What are your hopes for Melbourne? White: Melbourne will be an anxious weekend! Conducting a normal race weekend, in which both cars run well during each session for every team, would be a great relief. I hope we can support our teams and drivers to explore the performance of the car and allow the race to deliver its sporting verdict. (Renault) Subbed by AJN. Tweet Related NewsHorner happy to have Illien working with RenaultHorner claims Renault is 75 bhp down on MercedesRed Bull: Engine freeze situation is ridiculousHorner wrong to blame Renault for Austria problemsRenault: We have to respect what Mercedes have doneRenault must start to focus beyond 2014 warns ProstTaffin: We have worked hard and go to Spain more confident of a good performanceRenault: We know what we can achieve for the next race to close the gap to MercedesLotus: The first couple of races will be difficult, by race three we will be in a much better positionTaffin: The V6 turbo runs very hot and making everything work together is a major challenge McLarenfan So reading this they have a baseline but it is low and the PU has problems that cant be turned off so have been bypassed and a small problem seems to grow. The answer is to work with a team that is getting track time and feed all the information back to the flagship team Red Bull to help them get more mileage I wonder if the information highway works both ways or is the main direction 4 bulls bobmendon I believe the man said the information is being shared between all the teams. ” Between now and Melbourne we have a number of items to cover. We need to consolidate all of the lessons learned across all the teams. We need to review all the accumulated data and compare and contrast to get the best out of it so the starting point for all of the Renault-powered cars is as good as it can be”. McLarenfan What I am saying is this the team doing most laps is Caterham, the main focus of Renault is Red Bull the other two teams are having real problems Torro Bull and Lotus. Caterham are doing the donkey work for Renault, who are getting that Data feeding it to Bulls and Lotus.