Renault reveals power unit gains

2015 F1 season

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Renault has revealed some details of the gains it has made with its second generation V6 hybrid turbo power unit.

The engine manufacturer says it is now able to harvest 25% more thermal energy than it could 12 months ago.

It has also found further gains in efficiency, allowing it to use less fuel. Renault claim their new engine is at least 5% more efficient at all speeds, making it “among the most fuel efficient engines in the world”.

Managing director Cyril Abiteboul says they are in a more optimistic mood ahead of the first race of the season compared to 12 months ago, when it arrived in Australia following a problematic pre-season test programme.

“Last year we went to Melbourne in a very different frame of mind,” said Abiteboul, “but in 2015 we are much happier in our own skin”.

Abiteboul said the fact Renault engines had covered over 9,000 kilometres in testing showed they had improved their reliability.

“We also wanted to improve performance and halve the gap to Mercedes,” he added. “While it’s more difficult to judge this, our track performance validates our dyno simulations and confirms we are on the right track.”

“We’ve still got a long way to go, but the season is equally long and we’ve still got items up our sleeves to further improve in 2015.”

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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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39 comments on “Renault reveals power unit gains”

  1. What? 9000? There’s no way that can be right!

    1. I think it’s right after all they were trained in the art of engine making.

      1. +1
        both made me laugh

    2. Torro Rosso did 5,533.8 km and Red Bull did 4,351.98 km.

    3. Not too farfetched – 9,000km over 12 days with 2 cars means an average of 375km per car per day, which is little more than a race distance.

    4. More than last year, but still not enough. Ferrari powered cars have done over 11,000 kilometres and Mercedes powered cars have done over 18,000 kilometres.
      So those 9,000 kilometres aren’t that much impressive.

      1. thay are because renault only has 2 cars. but you are right, it is probably still not enough, if only f1 allowed full engine development, renault could have made far more gains.

      2. Mercedes has 8 cars running 18,000km and Renault have 4 cars running 9,000km, then all the cars have done the same average distance. It’s only Ferrari who ahead on average millage per car.

        It’s maths 1.01

        1. Sorry meant Merc 4 cars Renault 2, but the maths is still the same, Merc ran double the distance with twice as many cars.

    5. The amount of people not getting the OVER 9000 DBZ reference is way too high…

    6. Insert Dragonball Z joke “it’s over 9000!” here

      1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        11th March 2015, 15:32

        My thinking exactly. I’m raging you beat me to it.

  2. That Redbull nose looks ugly… Bring back the #CamoBull

    1. I suspect it’ll look much better once they’ve implemented the new shorter nose.

  3. When will Merc reveal their “dignity killer” gains?

    1. They will give a bit of a tip in qualifying and then show more during the race, waiting to unleash it completely in a few races in case someone is actually going to push them to go full out @jcost. No need to boast about improvements (might even be counter productive with Bernie / Horner / Ferrari out to kerb any big advantage they see Merc have)

  4. Just give us a horsepower number already!

    1. Renault Energy 2015: 850 bhp combined. Straight from the horses mouth, though you know they’d never tell you the full story!


      2015 may be the second year of competitive use for the revolutionary power units, but they still remain a huge challenge for engine manufacturers. ‘Year two of a new engine is always difficult,’ Renault Chief Technical Officer Rob White explains. ‘The 2015 power unit project was started six months before the 2014 units took to the track, ie. before we had any significant experience of the technology. Then we also needed to consider the issues arising during the season. It creates a need to be both forward thinking and reactive.

      ‘Splitting resources between projects is therefore a delicate balancing act, in the short, mid and long term. While certain decisions can be taken upstream, a number of design decisions were taken quite late in the day, in order to benefit from the experience of the 2014 power unit. The result is a power unit that is very different to its predecessor.’


      ‘We have made some fundamental changes to gain performance and reliability. We have upgraded every system and subsystem, with items that will give the most performance prioritized. The principal changes involve the internal combustion engine, turbocharger and battery. The ICE will have a new combustion chamber, exhaust system concept and variable trumpets, as permitted by the 2015 regulations. The compressor is more efficient, while the energy recovery systems are able to deal with more severe usage.

  5. This is just marketing… I actually thought something relevant was actually going to come out Cyril’s mouth. I think he could start by answering the question, Why am I in F1? followed by What do you do? Why can’t I stay put?

  6. Like the revised livery and what a difference it makes. The rear end is dramatically different to that of the previous car and also you could say the philosophy is slightly different as well, possibly prompted by the new nose rules, still waiting to see their version of the extra short nose.

    1. The Red Bull nose is like last year’s Ferrari nose.

      1. agreed, I saw the same when they first showed the new RB, its like a elephant trunk, yet RB never got the bad criticism as Ferrari did in 2014 for doing that.

        1. I think it has a slightly less severe shape, and the multi-coloured nose disguises it a bit.

  7. Why do I get the feeling they’ve halved the gap to the OLD Mercedes engine?

  8. I wonder what the 2014 power output was in total, as a comparison?

    1. I remember a feature on sky or bbc, with a Renault engeneer. He mentioned a total output of 750hp. This was before the season got under way, I think.

  9. 5% fuel efficiency will make a massive difference. More fuel efficiency means less fuel consumed, so if they stick to the fuel limit as they did last year they can effectively put an extra 5% more fuel through the engine, making it quicker.

    1. @strontium
      Time penalty per lap of fuel – 0.051s

      So there gain isn’t going to be that massive here, more so on other tracks though.

    2. Or run higher power setting for longer periods during the race. Doesn’t do much for quali but potentially could see more competitive race pace..

      1. At least now they won’T have to resort to illegaly using more fuel than allowed to get about the same power AntzNZ!

  10. Am I the only one who finds it not interesting at all that he speaks about 12 months ago, how about since Abu Dhabi?

    1. you are not the only one, no @xtwl, and I think its very significant

  11. Renault quite bullish lately, I take it as a good sign.

    3 wins last year and 4 championships before that means they will not be bad under any measure.

  12. Are there any articles on how Ferrari and Renault have configured their engines this year (as in split turbo or not)?
    Honda have from what I have read, but is there any news as to what Ferrari and Renault will do? Or are they not able to due to the rules?
    I guess they wouldn’t want to comment much on how they have achieved any power gains.

    1. No, and there probably won’t be either. Because F1 rules are so stupidly restrictive, everyone’s engine is made from effectively the same template, with only small differences between them. So they’re all very eager to protect the solutions they’ve come up with.

      In other motorsports, manufacturers are really happy to talk about and show off their engines, because they have the freedom to come up with their own unique solution.

      Plus I think they’re a little embarrassed by how little power F1 cars have compared to other motorsports.

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