Renault: Jerez test problems “solved”

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Renault believe they have solved the problems that limited their teams’ running in the first test at Jerez.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Red Bull engine supplier Renault believe pre-season issues aren’t fatal but they remain some way off Mercedes and Ferrari (The Independent)

Remi Taffin: “With regard to the hardware we are now confident the problem we had in the first test has been solved and we will be in a position to go out in Bahrain without all these issues.”

Renault could ask for reliability break (Autosport)

Remi Taffin: “There is still a ‘fair and equitable’ rule that exists that allows us to change any parts if we have any reliability problems, which we did in the past and I think we will still do it.”

Call off the Search – Why Simona is what F1 has been looking for (The Buxton Blog)

“‘I didn’t have the budget to stay in Europe,’ she confides during practice for the Indy 500. ‘But I found an American sponsor who wanted me to come over here and do Formula BMW. There were opportunities to go back but we never had the funding to do it. We found a sponsor over here who embraced who I was and wanted to help me in my career and so we stayed over here.'”

Bernie Ecclestone’s are big boots to fill but he may not be going soon (The Guardian)

“Although CVC refused to comment on Friday, reports of an unsuccessful approach to Ross Brawn, who recently stood down from the job of team principal at Mercedes-Benz, could indicate the lines along which they are thinking.”

Tweets and pictures

Nico Rosberg: “Part of team nico in backround simulator control room. Rich (right) is not looking to happy about being in pic ;)”

Site updates

Comments on the main site and the forum have reopened again following the work which has been done on them this week. More information here:

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to East Londoner, Ives F1, Mouse_Nightshirt, Tim P, Tom and Enigma!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Happy birthday to Charles Pic who turns 24 today.

Today is also two-times world champion Graham Hill’s birthday – he was born in 1929.

Image © Red Bull/Getty

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

58 comments on “Renault: Jerez test problems “solved””

  1. Great to see everything appears to be back in working order on the site!

    1. Hehe even F1F has to do some testing before the start of the season :p

      1. @mantresx and it didn’t do a Renault ! :)

    2. Great thing the forum is back!

    1. I can’t remember where I read that the TR filiming day was actually before Jerez and not after as some people have been reporting.

      1. It definitely was before the Jerez test @w-k – do you remember the audio clip being released from the test? It was from before Jerez and was proper running of the car, as the Doppler effect was very noticeable.

        So the recent statement is the most accurate basis for now until we actually have track running next week!

      2. Autosport says there have been two Renault-powered ‘promo days’ since Jerez, Lotus and Toro, so they must have done another one.

    2. Well at least we now know it’s not as simple as “overheating”, I’m still guessing that it involves trying to use the thermal energy recovery system as a torque controller by matching boost to rpm using the motor-gen unit, unless the regulations do not allow that.

  2. But does F1 even interest her?

    “Yeah,” she beams. “For sure.”

    Alright, she belongs to F1.

    1. “For sure.”

      She’s ideal.

  3. Remi Taffin: “There is still a ‘fair and equitable’ rule that exists that allows us to change any parts if we have any reliability problems, which we did in the past and I think we will still do it.”

    IMO, it’s only fair if Renault should be allowed to work on their engines past February 28th if Mercedes and Ferrari can do the same.

    1. +1
      Couldn´t have said it better!

    2. I believe that they can all continue to update their engines on a reliability basis indefinitely, subject to a review of each update.

      1. @kingshark @karter22 @ironcito
        So if they’re essentially uncompetitive/slow then they have to keep the engine the same? Could it then end up in a situation where they realise a solution that would make them reliable and add performance , and so run in their unreliable state so that they get extra time to produce a more competitive engine?

        1. @3dom

          Could it then end up in a situation where they realise a solution that would make them reliable and add performance , and so run in their unreliable state so that they get extra time to produce a more competitive engine?

          That’s exactly the point, they try to hide performance updates behind reliability issues and that was the case in the V8 era, the exhaust blown diffuser was also for reliability purposes

          1. Source? Mine is here:

            It is understood that further changes that were requested, which would have helped improve Renault’s fuel consumption, were rejected because these were purely for performance reasons – and not on the ‘fair’ basis of the other changes that are open to all car makers

            Renault clearly has a problem with their power unit, and not just because the tight packaging of the RB, because also TR experienced problems on their filming day 3 days ago, just after Renault told us that during the Lotus filming day was everything OK.

          2. @crandreico

            Renault clearly has a problem with their power unit

            I totally agree with that, but IMHO, it´s all renault´s fault. They are trying to build a reliable engine and the problems they are having IMO is because they are probably trying to replicate the performance advantages they had with their v8´s like the “traction” control that was said to been had, as stated by Minardi . I personally never bought the whole suspension bounce theory… To me, it was traction control at it´s best! But that is just my opinion.
            I think Renault are just trying too hard to build an engine to “help” their teams unfairly. That is just an opinion, please don´t hate!

          3. @karter22

            Of course Renault screwed: maybe it’s like they said, that the dyno testing and the real world testing wasn’t what they expected. Maybe they went with such an extreme design, that simply doesn’t work. There’s dozens of maybe’s. I even adventure more, and say that RBR shares that fault, because of their stretch relantionship with them. But I don’t know, it’s just speculation and mud I’m throwing over it. But help their teams unfairly? Why? Because maybe they want to be more clever than anyone? Because maybe they are so over bending the rules? Screw the spirit of the rules. Every team, every season of the modern era F1 does that.

            As to the so called traction control mentioned by mr. Minardi, just a thought: no other team complains about it, and an old fool, who probably starts seeing the season that late, says that RBR engine sounds “different” when it made the same sounds all the season. And also the Caterham, and the Lotus. Then he says that Vettel starts on the throttle 50 meters than everyone else on the corners. 50 METERS!!!!!!! Now that’s something new on the nonsense talk box.

    3. That’s always the case: Ferrari for example worked on their engine on Spain 4 years ago

      1. Here goes the link:

  4. Good to be back Keith, it’s felt a bit weird thinking up comments while reading the articles and not being able to post them :)

  5. Simona certainly deserves a spot in f1, especially if you consider that less accomplished drivers have made it to f1 and if she does make it she shares more with Graham Hill than most of the grid, Graham who won Indy, LeMans, f1 and monaco.

    1. You make it sound as though she won the Indy 500.

    2. I don’t know, her best result is one podium in 4 seasons of Indycar. Even the often criticised Patrick finished 2nd at Detroit, 2007, back when there were far less chances to drive on road courses. And I’ve no idea what you’re on about with comparing Simona with Grahan Hill.

      1. She’s mostly been in a single car team which wasn’t established in the series (and had the dreaded Lotus engine one year) to be fair. I’d like someone more familiar with the series to give an impression of how capable she really is. She was beaten last year. Her team mate was a past champion and very experienced, but then again he isn’t exactly a fresh talent.

    3. I disagree.

  6. The French manufacturer encountered hardware and software woes to such an extent it has led to suggestions Red Bull are already on the lookout for a new supplier for 2015.

    Surely that’s conjecture? I doubt that one bad test would push Red Bull to switch engines.

    1. Agreed. I too was taken a bit aback by that comment. And if there’s anything to it I would say the problems must be far from ‘solved.’ For now this must be conjecture, no?

      1. Its a newspaper comment. Remember the season 2009, where Renault reliability issues caused Vettel some DNF’s from leading positions. Despite this RBR made a new contract with Renault in the autumn of 2009, (where personally I had not, but time showed us Renault became OK or Neweys ingenuity compensated adequately for any deficits on the engines performance) so I think for sure RBR are holding on to Renault as of yet.

        1. RBR had actually agreed a deal with Mercedes for 2010, which was vetoed by Brawn and/or McLaren (don’t remember which one). That’s the only reason they stayed with an engine that was 4% down on top power at the time.

    2. The problem is that Red Bull could not afford to lose the championship for 2 years in a row, that would be a disaster especially in terms of prize money, Red Bull are having a performance contract with Renault so in my personal opinion if they think that their car is capable of championship and the only problem with it is the powertrain nothing will stop them from the switch, Ferrari and Mercedes will not provide them with their engines, Honda could be a concrete possibility in 2015, if i’m not wrong their base is in Milton Keynes which could be a deciding factor

      1. @tifoso1989, It’s reported Honda has a “1-team-only” agreement with Mclaren for 2015. I don’t think Honda is allowed to supply another team before 2016.

        1. I didn’t know about that but still be a concrete possibility even by 2016 for the reasons i have mentioned

          1. I think this is likely premature talk, and one thing is for sure…if they are actually going to struggle badly this year and are actually going to switch engine makers, then they won’t be back to the top for at least 3 years, Newey or not. I think it’s far more likely they’ll work through their issues and sort things out, even if it takes longer than ideal. It would still be far quicker and cheaper, and would keep them in the game to stick with Renault which is the closest thing they can do to replicating the works program Ferrari and Mercedes have the luxury of enjoying.

  7. F1F is back ! It was just one day of maintenance , but whoa , it felt like a year !

  8. Special dispensations for improving reliability are just one more thing that F1 has got wrong. It so ill devised that it is basically calling for inequality.
    All engine manufacturers have had the same amount of time, to plan and work on the engines. Just because Renault didn’t do their job as good as the others, it doesn’t mean they didn’t have a chance as good as the others, and that’s really all that matters. Someone will always do the best job and someone will always be the worst. Reliability is an inherent part of the engine’s performance so it shouldn’t be treated like some external, exceptional factor. Maybe they spent too much time on looking for performance, that they ran out of time to test and proof everything properly. So I don’t understand why should Ferrari and Mercedes be basically handicapped, just because they did a better job under the same circumstances as Renault.

  9. the article about simona was very interesting. i like her already, at least much more than patrik, de villota, wolf and most of the pay drivers that have a seat right now…

    1. Yes, unlike the other ladies de Silvestro’s not being promoted beyond where she deserves to be, based on her driving skills and achievements.
      I always suspected Sauber had something up their sleeve better than 3 years of Sutil and Gutierrez. And aside from the obvious, it’s great to read that F1 team bosses are looking towards Indycar again, and at the many talented Swiss drivers around at the moment.

  10. Call me paranoid, but I bet some of Reno’s reliability updates will have a knock-on performance increase.

    1. I must admit I am quite intrigued by the wording that changes to the engines can be made if the case can be made that it is for reliability, safety, and/or cost-saving measures. To me that leaves more room for innovation than I had originally imagined. For all makers of course, not just Renault.

  11. To @keithcollantine or anyone, has anyone read about some of the “innovations” Ferrari has made with their motor unit/power train? (Source: (Spanish media) which lets them not consume any fuel at all when the throttle is off, and better cooling efficiency due to some kind of titanium microtubes used in the cooler, which leads to better cooling with an smaller foot print.

    I’m interested in the fuel part of it, is that something every team has achieved or is special to them? Because I think that could be a big factor, letting them put less fuel and/or be able to go faster without so much worrying about the 100kg/race limit.

    1. @alsenes
      I read the article from Marca it just a copy paste from the original one of Autosprint, the interesting thing about the Ferrari V6 engine is that Ferrari didn’t release any picture of it until now which suggests that it features some innovations which could be noticed straight away, there is also the turbo protection which Ferrari unlike Renault and Mercedes didin’t add on their engines to save weight, as for the fuel consumption i read about it in this article but for me this remains just speculations because no one knows apart from the Ferrari engineers how efficient is their engines for sure we will know that during the season
      It’s amazing how quickly things change in F1, last year it was rumored that Ferrari is very late on their engine development program regarding Renault and Mercedes and now it’s exactly the opposite
      One thing to remember Ferrari could have vetoed the 1.6l V6 engines but they didn’t which prove that Luca Marmorini team could have felt that they could produce a very competitive powertrain

  12. There is still a ‘fair and equitable’ rule that exists that allows us to change any parts if we have any reliability problems, which we did in the past and I think we will still do it

    The fact that he is highlighting the fairness and the equitability points just tells it all, it makes me sick sometimes when i hear some Renault + Red Bull staff talking like this, the rule also was ‘fair and equitable’ when Ferrari broke Massa’s seal gearbox… BTW Remi Taffin is recovered in hospital for some days in one of the most important weeks for Renault which demonstrate the amount of workload and stress that the engineers at Viry-Châtillon
    The frenchman in the French FIA (or Ferrari International Assistance !!!) is doing a great job letting Renault having an advantage over their rivals behind that ‘fair and equitable’ rule of reliability issues, well some will say it is the same for everyone but it isn’t the case i remember in the second half of 2012 Red Bull were using the fluid variation system which caused Vettel problem in Q3 in Abu Dhabi (2 tanks of fuel) to keep an optimum ride height of the car, Ferrari and Mercedes asked the FIA for permission to use such a system and the answer was “No, your engines are reliable you don’t need such a system”.

    1. Remi Taffin is recovered in hospital for some days in one of the most important weeks for Renault

      he had his appendix removed on the fly @tifoso1989, that is not about stress (apart from the doctors having it), just about bad luck for him at a bad time

      1. Hmmm, wasn’t sure if the point about stress was that since Taffin is in hospital the other engineers have an even bigger workload at a crucial time. As to Renault/RBR getting special treatment…not sure if they are motivated, french or not, to see RBR dominate yet again and watch viewership continue to fall, and I find the argument strange given that you are calling FIA the Ferrari International Assistance.

  13. I don’t think that anybody in his right mind will believe what Renault will ever say re their problems having been solved as they have been saying “problems solved” from day one in Jerez.
    If RBR will want to change engine supplier I don’t see FERRARI, Mercedes or Honda supplying them with engines. They will have to turn either to a new engine manufacturer or the unit Cosworth is said to have ready to go.

    1. Sounds like journalistic fantasy to me, Renault engines/PU have no doubt tested satisfactorily on the dynamometer before being supplied to the team, there is obviously some problem in reality that doesn’t correllate with the dynamometer program, it shouldn’t take them long to get the engine to work in reality, but maybe not quite as cleverly as they had hoped. RBR no doubt would have preferred a trouble free test but have never shied away from trying to be clever, anyway by the time the newly re-instated last 3 double points races come around they will be back at the front.

      1. Didn’t RBR give the same kind of talk when they first had trouble with getting their KERS to work in 2011 @hohum? I think its a bit the same now, using media to put extra pressure on Renault to get the engine sorted ASAP

        1. That and making sure that the RBR image is not tarnished.

  14. With the changes to the rules on the powerplant, now PU, surely some adjustment should be made to the rules regarding nondevelopment , after-all it is said “Racing improves the bread” and this is why car manufacturers are prepared to spend hundreds of millions building racing engines, it’s not just the publicity it’s a great learning and testing experience for their engineers. If these new PU’s are to achieve their stated aims then they must be allowed to develop during the racing season, if the teams can’t afford it then why not ban aero development for this year and use that money for engine development instead, let’s face it, aero developments in F1 are of no value anywhere except on the individual F1 car they were designed for, whereas developments in lowering fuel consumption without power loss have enormous value, not just to car companies but to mankind in general.

    1. I must have been loaveing of, Racing of course improves the BREED not the bread, oh the pain of it all.

      1. oh the pain of it all.

        if you read that in french, its bread again @hohum :-P

    2. Ohh yeah sure just ban aero and sack hundreds of people….

  15. Nico looks so smug you’d think he drove a hybrid ! but then, he does.

  16. I genuinely hope that Simona is a genuine talent, but having a few decent results in Indy car mean nothing – Sebastien Bourdais proved that…

Comments are closed.