Renault’s RS17 car and RE17 power unit are a much better fit for each other this year according to the team’s engine technical director Remi Taffin.
Last year’s Renault was based on a design created by Lotus during 2015 while they were using Mercedes engines. However the new RS17, launched today, has benefitted from the chassis and power unit being developed for each other.
“If you were able to be part of the team and look at the naked car and could evaluate the architecture, you would be able to see a lot of difference between last year’s unit and its installation and this year’s,” said Taffin.
“The power unit is made to suit the car, and this is a fundamental difference. The engine and the chassis fit together, and not like a puzzle with the RS16. The RS17 is far more homogeneous.”
As well as achieving better integration between power unit and chassis, Taffin says his team have made gains in other areas. “We’ve also worked a lot on the weight, the cooling layout for both power unit and also aerodynamic performance, and then we have targeted a further step forward in performance,” he said.
“On the power unit side we made a good step last year with achieving our targets. We now need to take another step.”
With engines having to last five races this year, Taffin says Renault has scheduled its planned upgrades around when the engines are due to be changed.
“We have the normal cycle,” he said, “you have to achieve reliability with the first engines.”
“We test the race-spec engines in Barcelona and this is where we see if the development work done on the bench equates to real world performance and reliability.”
“Since everything is new this year, engine, fuel and lubricant development will progress through the season, and we will target our upgrades to our allowed power unit replacement schedule through the season.”
2017 F1 season
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- Australian Grand Prix cost government £56 million last year
- “Grand Prix Driver” takes you inside McLaren’s nightmare final year with Honda
- Undisputed champion: 10 titles name Hamilton top driver of 2017