Heavily revised 850bhp Renault engine for Red Bull

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In the round-up: Red Bull will benefit from a comprehensively overhauled new Renault power unit offering up to 850bhp this year.


Renault revealed the first details of its updated Energy F1 power unit for 2015 yesterday. They say the V6 turbo hybrid engine will be used by Red Bull and Toro Rosso this year produces up to 850bhp.

“There are very few carry over pieces between the 2014 and 2015 power units,” said chief technical officer Rob White. He admitted the engine manufacturer needs to make big gains following its struggles last year.

“First and foremost we need to run reliably, be quick and closer to front,” he said. “We have made a significant step forward relative from 2014 and, although it is hard to quantify where we will be relative to the competition, what we can say is that we are on course to achieve our own performance objectives.”


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

'Prospect of 1000bhp is eye-watering' (Crash)

"It is very easy to say we want 1000bhp engines but we've got to consider whether it is going to cost another £20 million or £40 million for the manufacturers."

Ricciardo: Drivers would relish 1000bhp (Autosport)

"We are all up for going faster and having more power. It creates adrenaline at the end of the day and that is why we do it."

F1 organizers blamed for losses (Korea Times)

"The complaint comes after the province saw its deficit rise by 190 billion won ($175 million) between the first event being held in 2010 and the last time it was hosted in 2013. The province did not host the championship in 2014 due to a budget shortage, and will not this year either."

McLaren must aim for wins in 2015, says Coulthard (Reuters)

"It's a marriage of convenience rather than pure love - the cuddly pictures don't fool anyone do they? - but Alonso is a serial winner and McLaren have been."

Kimi in the SF15-T (Ferrari via YouTube)


Comment of the day

Force India won’t be running at Jerez but are they going to miss much?

It’s impossible to know what this means really. As other have said, missing Jerez doesn’t mean a lot as the cars and systems are just an upgrade instead of a whole design and the track isn’t on the calendar.

They will be slightly behind because they’ll have to spend a day at Barcelona running system checks and if they do run into problems that costs them a few days, they are really up against it.

Having said that, if they know that everything isn’t quite ready yet and they wouldn’t learn anything by going to Jerez, they are making the right decision. There’s no point in wasting 4 days using last year’s car if they’re already behind on delivering the 2015 one!

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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...

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75 comments on “Heavily revised 850bhp Renault engine for Red Bull”

  1. From that video, I think the Sauber is going to be blue, at least around the cockpit.

    1. That was design I made last week
      . I hope it turns out to be something like that.

      In other news, McLaren is most likely going to be grey. Fantastic.

      1. @jarnooo Or West White…..

    2. I know this is irrelevant, but what time is the McLaren reveal? GMT Time.

  2. awesome video by mclaren!!! Alonso looks happy finally too.

    1. Their acting has improved a lot. Both Alonso and Jenson. There’s a future career potential there!

      1. Yup! Enjoyed it a lot. Although the line is. “Road’s? where we’re going we don’t need… roads”.

        What happened there?? Also, why does the Remote Control Unit have 88 in LEDs? Why are they doing about 20mph when they go back in time?? What’s happening??

        1. I take it you have never heard of Back To The Future then? Watch it, then all will become clear.

    2. He was happy all 2010….

  3. For some reason, I feel the McLaren video (or atleast the first 1:05 mins of it) should have been used to announce their drivers :’)

    Also, how much is 850hp compared to 2014’s engines? Is that a big increase or not? Also if Renault are 850hp, will the Mercedes engine be more?

    1. It means 690bhp for the actual engine. Last year’s were typically described as 600bhp, with Mercedes rumoured up to around 700bhp I believe.

      1. @matt90 Huh, so a potential 90bhp jump for Renault then? That’s pretty significant.

        1. Indeed @philereid. Now the question is, how big is the jump by Mercedes going to be?

          1. Mercedes doesn’t even need to make that much of a jump to be honest with you @toiago Last year at Bahrain and Singapore the Mercs were unlished and proved to be over 2 seconds faster than everybody else. That’s just too big a gap to narrow and become contenders for the title

      2. The figure I read last year was that Mercedes was producing 760bhp (600 from the ICE and 160 from ERS). So as much as the V8 (without KERS).

        1. @geemac There’s always a lot of variation in these estimates – another story last year put Mercedes’ maximum output at up to 850bhp.

    2. In one of the stories earlier this week, Renault said they had halved the gap of 60 bhp to Mercedes, using 2/3’s of their 32 tokens.

      Going by that, last years Mercedes was producing 880 bhp.

      On the 1000 bhp idea, would they be any faster?
      If they want more power it would need more energy, either from more fuel or more energy recovered into a bigger battery, or a combination of both. The increase in speed from 880 bhp to 1000 bhp would only be about 12 kph if weight were not changed, but that is unlikely to happen as the teams wanting increase in power also say they want less time managing fuel consumption. More power would also increase heat, which needs to be got rid of, larger motor/generators, bigger, heavier brakes and possibly heavier tyres to manage the extra tyre wear.

      1. In terms of top speed, you are probably correct, those wouldn’t increase that much. The difference in lap time, however, could be quite big, as in every acceleration phase the cars would have more power, thus achieving higher speeds faster, which is crucial.

      2. I think probably if they relaxed the fuel-flow restriction they could achieve 1000bhp with the current overall fuel limit – just not 100% of the time.

        1. I don’t think they want the ability to accelerate out of one corner/lap and lift and coast into every corner for the whole race, so they will require an increase in fuel, probably about 20 kilo’s.

        2. Making some assumptions (which are probably wrong but I can’t find accurate figures for F1 fuel) 100kg/hr is in the region of 1700-1800hp input.

          Given that Renault are at 850hp, and 160 of that comes from the MGU, we are seeing 690hp from the ICE, which equates to around 40% efficiency… Which is incredible for a petrol motor! Probably more realistic is that the fuel is of higher energy density than my calculations, but I doubt I’ll see accurate figures on that.

          Personally, I don’t see the need to increase the fuel flow limit. If anything, I’d rather see an increase in the MGU-K power output, and possibly an increase in the fuel flow lower down the rev range. Maybe an adjustment of the curve in general, smoothing it out and maybe allowing slightly more to be used at higher revs. A slight tweak, nothing more.

          I don’t think they should increase the overall limit.

          1. +1

            The engines are incredible. Not a lot has to change for them to be soon making the 1000bhp.

  4. Based on the video, the C34 will have a blue based livery which was mentioned by the Polish website F1 talks. Banco do Brasil GP2 style livery?

  5. so whats this about Alonso having a “hissy fit” already at McLaren? Anyone know more to this story and what happened?

    1. It’s just regretful that that guy tweeted it without having any clue about it, and then Keith featured it in the roundup as if it’s some real credible news. Some serious journalism going on here…

      1. The criteria I apply is whether I think the source is credible on a given subject, not whether I think the information contained is likely to be popular or not. Sniffer Media is run by Sam Smith who contributes to several motor racing publications and companies including the Lotus F1 team.

        I chose to feature that tweet partly because I suspect some recent stories from disreputable websites who publish anonymously has been based on information which originally surfaced via Sniffer Media on Twitter (who, of course, they will not give credit to). So if in a few days’ time they’re writing about ‘Alonso tantrums at McLaren’ we’ll all know why.

        Unless they read this comment, of course…

        1. Fritz Oosthuizen (@)
          29th January 2015, 10:13

          That is right Keith. You do a excellent job with F1F don’t let the amateurs tell you otherwise. When I wake up at night I check for update on the website. This site’s name must change to F1Fantastic.

  6. “There was no such thing as mid-corner speed, “You literally had to hug the kerb as late as you could to give yourself as much room as you could on the exit because once the power kicked in all hell broke loose.” – Stefan Johansson

    Excerpt from a great article by Edd Straw on Autosport.

  7. So black and white then for McLaren?

  8. I have said it before and I will say it again. F1 needs to go on a diet. I would much rather see the cars back down to a 600kg minimum weight than have everyone focus on getting power outputs to 1000bhp. The current minimum weight is far too high and if Pat Symonds is to be believed the Williams FW36 was running a “significant” amount of ballast. It won’t be long before the whole grid is able to do that. So far as power goes, if Renault say they are at 850bhp that means all the manufacturers will be close to that, with a Mercedes possibly putting out more. So the power will come, it always does, just give them time.

    1. F1 needs to go on a diet.

      Totally agreed.

    2. This.

      If Renault is at 880 total now, its probably safe to say that app. 1000 will be reached before any new rules that would “impose” a 1000 bhp on the engines is even decided/agreed upon

    3. Let’s wait for that for a while. Last (two?) years we had drivers almost collapsing because of being underweight or dehydrated just to save a few kilos.

      1. Perhaps, but given that the new rules put the empasis back on “proper” engineering it is no surprise to me that a team like Williams can manage to build a car under the weight limit while others can not. I suppose it is no mistake that their name is “Williams Grand Prix Engineering”…

  9. If Renault’s new engine is on par with Merc’s new engine, and Red Bull’s chassis is as good as Mercedes’s, would Ricciardo be a bigger threat to Hamilton than Rosberg?

    1. RB chassis was second to none for a long time. Last year as well. RB won four championships with power deficit. I believe that Renault is bringing them close to the target. Let’s see what Merc did with the PU.

      1. It is a fallacy that RB had a better chassis than the W05. That Mercedes was good everywhere, even in the slow tracks that were not PU dependent such as Monaco.

    2. @kingshark, good question, that’s a hard one! My guess would be ROS-HAM-RIC in qualifying, and then HAM-RIC-ROS in the race. Just the thought of it makes me hope Redbull will be equal to Mercedes this year :)

  10. 1000bhp, wide tyres, active suspension. Aren’t these all things F1 used to have but regulated against on safety grounds?

    The wide tyres are a stupid idea. You can already get more grip out of the existing size by not purposefully making them degrade.

    I don’t like the idea of active suspension, it will reduce the impact a driver has if weight transfer is reduced.

    And the engines will get to 1000bhp naturally if development is allowed.

    I already think F1 is on the right path engine wise. Push the ICE towards efficiency and free up the development of the recovery and electrical power. To control costs change the homologation rules so that there is a capped price they can be sold at but that they must be available to a certain number of customers.

    This way the works manufacturers who are benefiting from the road relevancy of the technology can’t milk the money from customer teams.

    1. Wider tyres look cool, but makes it easier to get the power down. And that’s not what we want to see.

    2. To control costs change the homologation rules so that there is a capped price they can be sold at but that they must be available to a certain number of customers.

      I would go one further than that. Cap the price they can be sold for, and make it so that any team can buy them (for the same price as any other team, no sweetheart deals). That is, any team can go to any engine manufacturer, pay the money, and get an engine. Obviously only from one manufacturer per season, but this is the best way I can see it working.

      1. yeah, that is the easiest solution to keep it from snowballing for the teams I think.

        Any manufacturer could throw the sink at it in development if they wanted to make up a defecit, but it would be their own cost. Off course there is than a danger of manufacturers who do not want to put in as much money bailing out. On the other side, a cap on engine cost might also lure in others who find it easier to convince their boards if cost are not open ended.

  11. I am absolutely gobsmacked at the decision by Renault to stick with the “bunch of bananas” equal length exhaust manifold (pre-turbo). Mercedes produced an astounding amount of power using a log style unequal length manifold which is probably 5x more compact and easier to heat shield. When you have a turbocharger that can be spooled electrically using the MGU-H why on earth would you waste so much real estate on an equal length manifold Which fills such an enormous void in such a critical part of the car. My only guess is that Renault are chasing top end power but why chase it with this component when you still have to deal with the throughput of the turbine exit?! Please tell me I’m not alone on this…

    1. You are not alone at all. I was surprised last year with the bananas approach, went against what I had learned about turbo systems and the experience I had with different builds over the years. After reading RaceCar Engineering’s article this year about F1 turbos I too was left shocked that Renault continued with that layout.
      I can only speculate that Renault are behind in overall use of the MGU-H to its full potential; as @drone pointed out, Renault must be hoping for top end power to compensate. I suspect we will continue to see Merc powered cars putting down the power faster on corner exits just like last year.

    2. @drone I have seen speculation elsewhere that Renault simply need the tuned lengths of their “bunch of bananas” exhaust to control fuel scavenging and the detonation characteristics of the combustion chambers as they can’t do it any other way. I’m no engineer but it sounded possible. How Mercedes get away with a tiny, direct “log” manifold must be down to other characteristics of the engine. All speculation and probably wrong!

      1. @tribaltalker,@drone, I don’t know much about this matter, but did read speculation (f1technical.net) that the log exhaust is probably made quite complex inside to get it to work as well as it does – if so, that might be hard to perfect/copy by others.

        1. @boysber – very interesting. That would follow from the rest of the Mercedes team approach. So the “log” manifold is short and super hot, thus the pressure is high for the turbo inlet – yet they still have the benefit of some resonant tuning to control pressures at the top of the cylinder during the fuel intake phase. Very, very clever.

  12. really hoping the mclaren wont be black and white… but from their teamwear it looks to be the case :-( we need some more colour on the grid.

  13. Congrats Kimi. Wish your new born the best!

    1. Yeah congrats! hopefully a new worldchampion someday!

  14. What is the source for the 850 hp claim? I cannot find Renault stating that anywhere.

    1. this is the only website i have read the 850hp number.

    2. @dworsley It was in information supplied by Renault yesterday.

  15. but Alonso is a serial winner and McLaren have been.

    Meh, I don’t think so. 11 wins in 5 years doesn’t count as “serial”.

    1. If you kill 11 people in 5 years, you will certainly be treated as serial killer! ;)

      1. But if you eat 11 steaks in 5 years, you wouldn’t be considered a serial steak eater.

    2. In the quality of cars Ferrari produced between 2010 and 2014…it is serial winning!

    3. Why would you disregard the rest of his career. 32 race wins says that Alonso knows how to win races. More pertinent is how many races did his teammates win in that 5 year period at Ferrari. Zero.

  16. So if the Renault PU will be about 850bhp, then the Mercedes could be about 900, right? In a year or two we could be above 1000 anyone with evolution of these engines, no need for change then…

    1. They will struggle to get much more power with the fuel flow limit.

      1. good. Let them struggle with that. At least it means that there will be different approaches where engines have different power delivery, different peak power and variance in fuel usage etc.

        Far better than when everyone just bolts on more or less the same elements and has incredible power. Then the FIA finds cornering speeds to high again, top speeds too extreme, etc , and starts coming up with ideas like grooved tyres again. Or standard aero to limit cornering speeds. And other restrictions that bring us back to having a field of more or less the same cars doing their laps within a second of each other.
        In a Trulli train fashion interrupted by stops because of tyres made to degrade and DRS changes of position. Not something I would be looking forward to.

        Its impossible to make the rules impose “tough handling” to make it exciting while at the same time keeping safety in check.

    2. @hunocsi Diminishing returns will kick in sooner or later, will it not?

  17. I went momentarily cross-eyed when I saw the Sauber display illuminate the words “BitePoint Armed”…

  18. I’m sick of all this talk of 1000 bhp and whatnot. It started as an extremely obvious propaganda manoeuvre by Red Bull, designed to turn the public opinion against the current engine regulations, for no other reason than the perceived lack of their own engines’ performance.
    What’s happened since then is what’s worrying me. It’s like half the world has been sent dumb pills by mail and now can’t stop debating those fictitious 1000 bhp as if they had any real significance. I don’t get it.

  19. Can someone give me some more information on this? What does this exactly mean? Since new Renault engine will be 850BHP. I am worried that now Red Bull start beating Mercedes. I just saw this about the new Mercedes engine. What does this mean for the new Mercedes engine?

    “Mercedes has reportedly dismissed claims it will begin the 2015 season with its ‘old’ V6 engine of last year.

    With the FIA agreeing to allow a development loophole under the existing ‘freeze’ rules, the sport’s engine makers are currently contemplating how best to deploy their 32 upgrade ‘tokens’ throughout the 2015 season.

    One rumour this week suggested Mercedes, having utterly dominated last year with its title-winning turbo V6, in fact planned to start the season with the 2014 unit in order to strategically upgrade to a 2015 specification over time. But Italy’s Omnicorse insists those reports are untrue, claiming the Brackley team is “assembling the car that will be taken to the Jerez test, and it will have the power unit configuration of 2015”.

    “The rumour that has spread in recent days about Mercedes doing the first four races with the 2014 power unit was denied,” the report added.

    Not only that, Omnicorse claims that Mercedes’ 2015 engine will be significantly different this year, including a new Bosch injection system capable of turbo pressure to the regulations-maximum of 500 bar.

    The report claimed Mercedes’ 2014 turbo was limited to little more than half that figure.”

    What does that mean guys? Someone help me out.

    1. It basically means the 2015 MB PU will be used at Jerez and that it has been significantly improved over the 2014 example.

      1. Thank you. Seeing Mercedes engine had a big speed advantage over Renault engine and now Renault’s 850BHP Engine, the new Renault might now only be a little be a lot slower than Mercedes in 2015. What I am trying to say is, since Red Bull will have a better Aero and Chassis than Mercedes in 2015 and since the New Renault engine looks a lot faster might put Red Bull a lot closer to Mercedes. The New Renault engine might not be far off as being as fast as the 2015 Mercedes engine.

  20. I just read news that the new read bull has not yet pass the crash test.http://www.grandprix247.com/2015/01/29/red-bull-rb11-has-yet-to-pass-fia-crash-tests/. That is what Homer meant when he said they are still working on the car. The extra testing time is starting to look like a wast for most teams.

  21. Is it possible to raise the RPMs to reach more HP?

    1. not untill 100 kg/h at 10500 rpm rule exists.

  22. If Renault have only 850 then they are already behind Mercedes before the season has started. There is no doubt that the German manufacturer will find more power from their plant.

    1. merc had 810-820 bhp last year.

  23. the F1 this year will be more noisy can they at least make them sound like the turbo 80

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