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renault v6 turbo engine rsf1-photos-2014

Abiteboul: We have gone for a very aggressive option

renault v6 turbo engine rsf1-photos-2014

Master engine builders Renault were caught flat-footed when Formula 1’s new hybrid turbo era dawned three years ago, but heading into the fourth season of the technology managing director Cyril Abiteboul is upbeat about the aggressive direction of their 2017 project.

Abiteboul said in an interview, “We have had long discussions about that because at the point in time that everything is changing on the rest of the car, we could have taken a more conservative approach in trying to freeze what we have and focus on the chassis.”

“But we have not gone for that. We have gone for a very aggressive option – which is that there is no time. If we want to be where we would like to be for 2018 or 2020, which is the next phase, when we want to target the top teams, we cannot afford to delay anything. So we need to accept to take risk.”

“We will be focusing on reliability with that new concept of engine – which will be a new concept I can confirm that. It means that it may not be a big jump in terms of performance, simply for the reason that we want to make sure to introduce this concept that it is reliable and that will be the perfect platform to develop the performance for the next three to four years.”

Renault have a ‘phase one’ engine for the first four races with a more powerful ‘phase two’ evolution planned for the Spanish Grand Prix in May.

Abiteboul explained, “I prefer to be conservative in the expectation for the first initial running of the engine at the start of the season. But definitely it is an engine that is offering the potential to cope with an awful lot of development. We have lot of ideas of concepts in the pipelines – most of them, as far as I am aware, have not been seen at the track.”

“Clearly I am not going to disclose anything, but we are super excited by the level of innovation that this new platform offers. So it is a choice that we are not making for the start of the season but we are definitely making for the long term,” added the Renault boss.