Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2015

Renault engine has “all sorts of failings” – Newey

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Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2015In the round-up: Adrian Newey says he is frustrated by the lack of progress Renault has made with its power unit.


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

No light at the end of the tunnel for Red Bull engine woes, says Adrian Newey (The Telegraph)

"It’s very frustrating that we’ve been pushed into a position where we’ve got an engine which is quite a long way behind with no obvious light at the end of the tunnel with all sorts of failings."

Australian GP: who has got it right, who has got it wrong? (BBC)

"So fractured had been Red Bull's build-up to qualifying that new driver Daniil Kvyat said he was 'guessing not driving' as he fought for grid positions."

Ron Dennis insists McLaren were right to switch to Honda power (Sky)

"If your objective is to win a World Championship, you have to have a strong OEM (original equipment manufacturer) behind you which has the technology and capability to produce a winning engine – and that’s what Honda has, they’ve proven it many times."

Honda running 'very conservative' due to higher temps (ESPN)

"We cannot lose the engine in the first race, so our data set is very conservative for the weekend, so that's the reason why we are down on power with the MGU-K and the engine itself."

Bernie Ecclestone refuses to fret over Formula One's cash crisis (The Independent)

"Yes, absolutely I would be happy to change the prize-money distribution if everyone agreed to it but it’s not going to happen."

Wolff: Windtunnel ban won't happen (Autosport)

Perez braces for 'painful race' (F1i)

"It’s a shame, it’s going to be a painful race… but we’ve got to be up there trying to take every opportunity that comes up for us."

Fed up with Bernie Ecclestone’s F1 circus? Then take a look at Le Mans (The Guardian)

"Le Mans racing retains both the human approachability and the technological value long since lost from F1."



Comment of the day

Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2015@Theoddkiwi is at the track this weekend and reckons the cars sound louder now:

Just a note on the sound of the 2015 cars versus 2014. They are definately louder.

I was in the Jones stand at turn one. Last year the cars coming down the straight could sneak up on you. But this year you can hear them coming both down the straights and out of the pits. You can hear them for longer after the have gone past too. Its actually the perfect volume as its loud enough to excite but you don’t need earplugs, so kids can enjoy it more.

The crowds is good, maybe up on last year too so last years sound didnt kill the crowds either. Me and my 10-year-old son really enjoyed the the cars today. The crowd was really engaged too.

From the forum

Scott Dixon, Ganassi, IndyCar, NOLA Motorsport Park, 2015

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  • 54 comments on “Renault engine has “all sorts of failings” – Newey”

    1. RedBull clearly not happy with Renault (although that’s something I remember reading back in 2009 e.g after they blew up in Valencia practice!!) and Mclaren not happy with Honda… swapsies?! ;P

      1. I won’t make a difference if the cause of the problem is because of the tight bodywork. It isn’t a coincidence that the 2 troubled teams in terms of running are the teams that have the tightest package on the grid.

    2. The RBR/Renault situation is even more surprising than the McLaren/Honda calamity. At least McLaren/Honda have the benefit of the excuse of being a year behind everyone else in this formula. RBR/Renault are in a worse position than last season going into this race. Can’t blame Newey or Marko for their complaints to Renault on this one. Renault is essentially the works power unit supplier for RBR and yet at the moment Toro Rosso is right there. One might speculate when RBR will sap engine suppliers, 2016 (difficult, not enough time now) or 2017 for the next likely formula reboot?

      1. swap, not sap

      2. But isn’t the Toro Rosso doing okay?

        1. No they are actually having the same problems, however they are not making that much of a big deal out of it.
          I found 1 article though that they are having same problems:

      3. Maybe the problem isn’t purely about PU, but the overall car packaging itself. The fact is that 2 of the tightest car is having problem with the engine, thus I don’t think changing the PU supplier would automatically cure the problem. Renault have a lot of benefit here by being able to run with 2 teams, thus at least can be faster in finding thus fixing the problem of the PU. Honda don’t have that luxury, thus they can’t turn up the PU to full power because they don’t have another team to evaluate the PU thus they are trying to be more on the safe side and collect as much data as possible.

      4. @bullmello Swap engine supplier with whom? I wonder …

        1. … Or make their own?

        2. swap engines with the Go Go Mobiles engine that is what RBR should do

    3. I know last year when RB were vocal about Renault it really hurt the relationship. Now again you have Marco, Horner and even Newey all extremely vocal about the trashy power unit, is this the beginning of the end? I would imagine RB would be long gone if they had a clear option but that doesn’t seem to be the case at the moment…

      1. I wonder if RB have some sort of obligation to stick with Renault as engine suppliers and they are trying to make renault give the first step to finish the collaboration by trash talking

        Maybe they know something about renault future plans (manufacturer’s teams) and want to go on another direction

        Or maybe I am seeing too much Sherlock Holmes

        1. Maybe something to do with what Abiteboul said recently.
          If Renault is looking to get back the old route again, what will happen to the current partnership with RB?

    4. I called it back in December last year. ;-)

      As for Red Bull’s complaints that their poor performance is all Renault’s fault, all I can say is: RBR are only 0.2 seconds faster than STR, whereas Merc are 1.4 seconds faster than Williams.

      It’s not just the engine. I think it’s finally time for everyone to accept that Red Bull are no longer top dogs in aero and chassis either.

    5. Considering they are effectively Renault’s official team (or company, since there are two teams from the same owners), I’m guessing they had long talks with Renault and they decided on how and when to use all the tokens?

      Renault said that they had 2016 in sight, for a major improvement, they have the most tokens left for this year too. I suppose they can still make good steps forward. I mean, Renault know how to win an engine battle, they were the major winners in the past 2 engine formulas…

      And what’s Red Bull going to do anyway? they can’t get Mercedes power, and I’m sure Ferrari would not like to give them an engine either. Ron Dennis probably has a big influence in Honda, and will be willing to keep them to himself, so unless another manufacturer shows up (and we already know how difficult it is to get involved in modern F1), they are stuck with Renault like it or not…

      1. Also, why is Toro Rosso doing reasonably well?! Is the chassis just as good as the RBR? they didn’t have much problems in testing either…

        1. Red Bull as the works renault team are running their engines with the newest settings and so on. Toro Rosso are not which probably explains why the teams are close right now.

          And the chassis is fine people are saying ridiculous stuff about how bad rbr this year.

          1. Horner confirmed in the race that Torro Rosso driving with the same settings as Red Bull.

    6. I would have thought that with Toro Rosso doing rather well by their standards, actually par with Red Bull, that RBR have messed up on the chassis as much as Renault did with the engines.

      1. @david-a RBR are supposedly having more Renault failures and glitches than STR. Losing an engine 5 laps in and having the other car catch fire is bizarre. My theory is that Renault must have sped up the factory version of their PU to RBR whilst STR has the customer version. I think it was after the fire and damaged loom that Kvyatt car was accelerating whilst braking, I think that’s all on RBR.

        1. I don’t believe on your theory because the PU manufacturer can only use 1 type of engine, thus if RB got a different version, it would be illegal.
          What I do believe is that RB problem is probably similar to McLaren problem. Their car is so tight that any weakness on the PU (and other parts inside the car) would be more exposed. Renault in this case can have TR to evaluate the engine on a more relaxed packaging, but Honda can’t, thus McLaren needs to run with reduced power.

          1. Frans what are you saying? There’s always costumer versions, especially in a season where you can use tokens, the difference can be actual hardware.
            @evered7 The key word is more or less, it was pretty obvious in my view but now it’s clear that STR is using a more conservative spec.

            1. @peartree if the conservative spec that STR are using is helping them with race pace, then I suppose RBR should be able to get more out of it since they should supposedly have the better chassis.

              Something is not working out here.

            2. There shouldn’t be a difference between the engines from the same manufacturer. The difference probably comes from the setting only. Remember that the rules stated you can only use 1 homologated PU, meaning that if you’ve got a new PU spec, you need to homologate it first. If the PU manufacturer homologate it, they can’t use the old PU spec. There might be some different bit under the pretense of reliability update/upgrade, but if it adds performance, then the other teams can ask for the same treatment for their PU. If it actually use token, then other teams should get it without the team itself need to ask.

              So the Merc engine under the Merc team should be the same as the Merc engine under FI and Lotus, otherwise they can complain to the FIA. Of course there might be politics involved which could change the dynamic, but again, it should be the same.

        2. @peartree Horner confirmed they were more or less using the same engine mapping as STR when interviewed by Sky.

    7. As mentioned above.. RBR are clearly not happy with Renault but where do they go from here?

      I can’t see Mercedes or Ferrari offering to supply one of theirs most threatening rivals with a unit?

      Time for infinity to step up?

      1. Except Infiniti is effectively Renault, they’re only other option is to build their own power unit.

        1. Their* not They’re. FML

        2. Infinity is Nissan, which has a partnership with Renault so no Infiniti is not effectively Renault but in regards to the engine specifically, they might as well be.

          1. I am aware of this, which is why I made the statement. I didn’t feel the need to break it down any further, as you still came to the same conclusion.

          2. @hic142 @f1-yankee Renault has a controlling stake on Nissan which owns Infiniti. So No partnership Obviously one maker won’t come up with 2 or 3 engines other different guises unless Renault could trick the FIA into thinking that either of their brands is a new entrant to F1.

        3. @f1-yankee Isn’t Infiniti under Nissan?

          1. OK never mind I didn’t refresh the page and thus did not see the later comments

      2. @nemo87 Their plan was to become Merc, back in 2008 and then again in 2010 and 2011 but Merc never pull the plug on F1. I think after Renault paid for the infiniti logo and PU’s they would stop with the bickering but RBR is in dire need of a new PU. RBR thought wrongly, that the V6 hybrid were Renaults inception on the FIA. Until this era ends RBR will have to suffer with Renault who as Ferrari is effectively locked out “frozen” of copying and so ever matching the Merc PU or perhaps jump to Honda as this team benefits from coming a year later and not being frozen, obviously now it’s clear that Honda were over confident and are now facing a slow march but the potential is still not frozen.

      3. @nemo87 Why not go with Cosworth again?
        They have a design already and all the facilities to develop it are much closer than Renault. Sure they won’t have a championship winning engine in the first year or two (look at Honda) but if what Newey says is true that there’s no light at the end of the tunnel with Renault, then they’ve got nothing to loose.

        1. Ive always considered coseorth as a fall back supplier if you get me.. Kind of like someone you’d call up for a favour?
          Almost like they have an engine on the shelf ready to go just incase, I mean when was the last winning/trully competitive coseorth engine in F1?

          Redbull engines though.. Hmm running on energy drink as fuel haha.. Can’t see it personally but they need to think of something.. And quick

      4. With the money they have, developing their own engine for 2017 is possible.

    8. hauspanzer (@)
      15th March 2015, 1:01

      Red Bull’s public verbal abuse of their suppliers (both Renault and Pirelli) has gone on for quite some time, and it’s certainly puzzling. How could it possibly help them produce better results? And then Newey tells us that the Renault people are “unwilling to engage”, as if that was some kind of surprise in the light of his other comments. Working with these guys must be hell.

      1. “Verbal abuse” is being overdramatical. Though you may be right about it being hell to work with them. But that’s a common caracteristic of the very best exponents, regardless of field.

      2. Exactly. If i was Renault i would have no motivation to work with them at all. Sure the Renault engine has problems but Red Bull are also liars. They always make themselves look better by making Renault seem worse than they actually are.
        If their work is so perfect why is STR with the same engine on the same pace? Hell their drivers are rookies, the car is probably faster than Red Bull if it was driven by Riccardo.

    9. CotD. Daniel Ricciardo effect nothing more, crowds all round will keep plummeting. I don’t think everyone realises that there’s a good chunk of the crowd in every GP that knows barely anything about F1, these are easier to lose. Ex: No Daniel Ricciardo, no Aus GP.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        15th March 2015, 2:02

        Don’t think so. Ricciardo now – Webber before. same same!
        I was there yesterday and the atmosphere was great. Walked around a bit and good to see the die hard fans and many families. It seemed there were more first timers than in the past. And many wow’s when the cars raced past us the first time.
        The Melbourne GP is a clear spectator success.

        1. Its even busier today. We got here at 11am and its crazy busy already.
          Looking at team shirts and hats, support is pretty broad across teams and drivers.
          First GP for me was in 1999, this weekend feels great compared to previous events

    10. A bit offtopic. Does anyone know what happens when you run out of engines? Do you just start a race from the pits after the change or is there some other penalty as well?

    11. Thanks for the COTD Keith. Looking forward to a great afternoon here in warm sunny melbourne.

    12. The same question that is on everybody’s mind. Why is the sister team STR team faster than the works RBR team ? Why does the STR have fewer problems wuth the Renault PU than the big brother RBR designed by Newey !!!!

      Kvyat might be thing that he might had better scoring chances with STR than RBR !!!!

      1. *thing = thinking

      2. It’s official. Key is better than Newey!!! :)

    13. Newey’s comments just confirm what i’ve been thinking that renault dont seem committed enough to winning they just wanna be there to get whatever marketing value they can without spending too many resources

    14. people keep banging the wec drum but i just don’t see the appeal myself.

      wec cars are slower than f1, i don’t think they look that good, i don’t like the balance of performance that try’s to artificially ensure performance equality & i cannot stand all the electronic aids that are allowed (traction control for instance).

      i also just don’t like the longer races, i have neither the time or patience to sit & watch a 6hr/12hr/24hr race & i always feel that the highlights don’t work because so much of the racing action is missed.

      i also don’t think the racing is that good in wec, in the prototype classes anyway, The GT categories have always been where the best racing is but then you may as well watch a gt specific category like the blanchpain gt sprint series where you have more gt cars & better competition.

      1. I disagree.

        The balance of performance that the WEC uses at least gives some variety. I mean if Renault, Ferrari and Honda (especially Honda with an extra year’s worth of development time, and a chance to look at the best of the competition) were smart they would have effectively copied Mercedes’ engine for 2015. The unit is very prescribed – 90 degree 1.6L V6. Compare that to the height of first turbo era? There were inline fours, v6’s, even V8’s, with varying vee angles and turbo set-ups.

        On the chassis/aero side of things too F1 has been artificially standardizing performance recently anyway. Low noses, step noses, standard front wing centre sections, ban on blown diffusers/exhaust exit locations, ban on shark fins, ban on FRIC…

        The WEC is more like that original turbo era. IC engines of varying capacities and layouts, variance in energy recovery and storage systems, and yet the four factory teams for this year have all gone down different technical routes.

        Combine that with cars that at least look different to each other (although I preferred them when they were wider) and a more fan-friendly experience, along with being closed wheel and closed cockpit there might actually be some aero tech transfer from a racing program to a road car program and I can see why the WEC is popular. The fact that there are only 8 LMP1 cars at any given round doesn’t bother me either, as how many F1 cars/teams/drivers would be in with a legitimate shot at a win in any given race? Now – 2. Even in 2012, one of the best seasons of recent memory, we had 8 winners from 5 teams. And WEC has the added bonus of competition throughout the classes/field.

        I think the WEC, like Group C before it, is a legitimate rival to F1, and with better technical regulations, better access for fans, and more road relevance for manufacturers, it is probably the ‘purest’ top level motorsport class at the moment for tech-heads.

        F1 could learn a lot.

        I really, REALLY hope F1 sorts itself out, however the moves the sport has made on so many different fronts over the last few seasons makes me wonder. All the great ideas thrown around by diehard fans on this website which make perfect sense and have no clear downsides would create an F1 which everyone would again be raving about, which would (I think anyway) reduce costs and improve racing without artificiality.

        To me though, between F1 and the WEC, WEC seems to be the category which is listening…

        Maybe its time to buy Bernie a hearing aid.

    15. Apex Assassin
      15th March 2015, 14:57

      Ugh no wonder Indy is failing so bad. Just look at that car! Pukatronic!

    16. The thing is, as others have said, Red Bull might just have to grin and bear it with Renault until 2017 if things don’t improve. I don’t see what the options are for next year, and Renault could still make steps forward this year with the tokens.

      Mercedes and Ferrari have works teams, they are not going to supply a rival such a Red Bull. Honda have a works deal with McLaren so that isn’t an option either as Red Bull will want a works engine deal. They will only get that with Renault or a new entrant, but there isn’t time for 2016 now. The only one is Ford-Cosworth having an engine ready if I remember correctly, but would that be a better option? It would probably be a stop-gap move kind of like McLaren had with Ford and Peugeot in 1993 and 1994.

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