Renault plans to bring new power unit debut forward to Monaco

2016 Monaco Grand Prix

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Renault is working to bring forward the introduction of its new-specification power unit to next weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.

The replacement for the ‘Spec D’ engine was tested at the Circuit de Catalunya this week and includes significant changes to its architecture.

“We had originally planned to use the new version in Canada when the current units are scheduled to be removed from the cycle,” said Renault’s engine technical director Remi Taffin, “but if we can get the units together and completely validated by Monaco we will use the ones available at this race.”

“The power unit we have used since the first race in Australia was really a continuation of the work started in the ‘Spec D’ power unit we introduced at the tail end of 2015,” Taffin explained. “We explored some concepts in that earlier iteration and the 2016 unit took them further, for example in the turbo.”

“This new spec goes even further down the line and also includes significant modifications to the combustion system. It will make the ICE more powerful but also efficient, leading to a gain of around half a second per lap.”

Taffin said the team has used “a small proportion of our token allocation for this upgrade”.

“We’ve been working on the new spec since the start of the season but needed to sign off all the parts for reliability and mileage before using on track,” he added. “The tests were very positive and showed it to be more powerful and driveable.”

Although the team is now prioritising its 2017 engine development, Taffin said some of those upgrades could be brought forward.

“We will continue our development over the rest of the season, using tokens with a view to getting on board any useful items identified from our 2017 work. We are principally focused on 2017 and making that next power unit as optimal as possible.”

2016 Monaco Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    24 comments on “Renault plans to bring new power unit debut forward to Monaco”

    1. Let the internal battle commence.

      ‘not bad for a number two driver’

    2. Half a second a lap is enormous. And more driveable too. It must have the 2-stage combustion chamber presumably. What a turnaround for Renault, and how great for the season.

      1. My point exactly :D

        Redbulls are going to be killers if this upgrade manages to reach Monaco. Good aero and more Renault power, exactly what we need to see an exciting race unfold between Redbulls and the Ferraris.

        Go Vers, Dani and Vettel !

        1. You mean between Redbulls and Mercedes ;-)

          1. Yeah I reckon this could be right. Red Bull has great low-speed grip, brakes and traction, and the new motor is more driveable too – all key around Monaco.

      2. It’s great news if true. Red Bull with 0.5s more is definitely a threat for race wins at sertain circuits. I think Red Bull will jump Ferrari and become the team to take the fight to Mercedes. I’d love to see what goes on in Ferrari camp when they are back to their customary position of 3rd best car on the grid.

    3. Half a second, that is a significant improvement. Something tells me the actual gain is going to be 0.2secs.

      My prediction , Red bull will be on par with the Ferrari s with this upgrade and Team Renault is going to be somewhere along side Force India.

      I also highly doubt they could get it validated before Canada but it would be really exciting to watch what they are actually capable of , if they manage to bring it to Monaco.

    4. They said .5 on average and predict .2 for monaco because the engine has less influence over there.

    5. Renault team exclusive? Will TAG Heuer engine get the new specs too?

      1. Nevermind. It looks like both team got one new-spec engine each.
        I hope Max get one…

    6. Can someone explain me the deal here? Why would Renault deliver Red Bull there a-spec engine while Red Bull a) is way up the field end b) doesnt even carry their name…? Whats the gain here? Cant be data alone given the fact they’ve got only two units available.

      1. I guess there are a number of reasons. First of all, it’s probably written in the contract between Red Bull and Renault. Second, most people who follow formula 1 enough to know Red Bulls uses TAG Heuer engines also know those are actually Renault engines, in which case it’s good publicity for Renault either way. And finally, I actually think the marginal publicity impact for renault of giving of a 0.5 second improvement to Red Bull is much bigger than giving Renault the same lap time improvement, as the former could potentially lead to podiums, poles or even race wins, while the later would result in maube reaching Q3 if they are lucky.

        If I were Renault I would consider giving both new engines to Red Bull (in case they only have the two for monaco).

        1. I would add another imortant poit to that @vvans, Renault probably would like to keep Red Bull as a customer by now, so then to show that they ARE able to improve it helps a great deal!

        2. I think we should also add to that, that improving their engine is the best way for Renault to keep their customer partners and potentially add to them (STR back with Renault again for example) @vvans

      2. @datt because Renault’s best chances is to provide Red Bull with the best engines they have. They know their own team lacks speed right now, so there’s no point fitting the new, improved engines to Palmer and Magnussen’s car when they are going to fight for a top ten, while Red Bull, even with the old engine, managed to win at Barcelona.

        They are better off splitting efforts at this stage. Once the Renault team gets up to speed, we’ll see how they manage it. But right now, it’s a no-brainer.

      3. It’s really simple. They are contractually obligated to do so. RB is to be treated on equal terms as Renault. They can’t just take both engines for them selves ;o)

    7. Guybrush Threepwood
      20th May 2016, 21:28

      I just hope both Max and Ricciardo both get the engine at the same time. That way there will be no excuses. However I can see RBR giving Ricciardo the new engine first to make up for throwing him under the bus at Spain.

      1. Red Bull are ruthless. I wouldn’t be surprised if they give Max the new engine, because he’s already won a race.

    8. One each team is fair… Great for back to back comparisons.

      1. Who would you give it to? Max or Danny?

    9. They selected Monaco for a reason… firstly it doesn’t need the extra power there…. which it wont be so obvious that if it doesnt make any improvement.

      1. Sorry but that is utterly nonsense. They chose Monaco because that was the earliest they could do. It actually gives them a lot more work to make it function well in Monaco, because it’s an atypical track. The mapping is completely different for Monaco, compared to other tracks. Another reason is the possibility of more points.

        They know the engine works, because it has been tested for nearly 2000 km and tested in the shop as well.

    10. they choose Monaco because RB has a real chance at beating Ferrari and Mercedes there… and Reneult would love to see Red Bull win. Half a second (probably .2s at monaco) won’t do much for their factory team, they’d still be out of the points, but could give RB a chance at getting jumping ferrari and even beating the mercedes.

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