Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Bahrain International Circuit, 2018

Life with Renault still a “rollercoaster” – Horner

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Quotes: Dieter Rencken

In the round-up: Christian Horner says his team is still feeling the ups and downs of life as a Renault customer team.

After suffering another engine problem which almost stopped Daniel Ricciardo from taking part in qualifying in China, Horner was asked if life with Renault is like being on a rollercoaster at the moment.

We’ve been on that rollercoaster for about five years. It has, sometimes there’s even a completely loop-the-loop in it. So the rollercoaster continues.

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Porsche’s efforts with the 919 Hybrid evo deserve some respect, says Bobec:

Whether the records stays or not, it’s still remarkable what they did, and they show how much faster an LMP1 can be. That’s right. The ACO/WEC always try to slow down the LMP1s. They constantly cut their energy allowance, they made them narrower in 2014, they limit the number of aero packages they can use. Yet, they sometimes seem to defy those rule changes, as in the 2015 and 2017 races, especially Le Mans.

At the same time, Formula 1 cars were sped up massively after 2016, and they are thinking of maybe speeding them up even more.

It’s not just that LMP1s have a higher min weight, lower fuel allowance, have to last a lot more miles, and have to use a lot less tires per mile. For the powers that be, F1 will always have to be the pinnacle of motorsports, so they make sure that happens through the regulations.

Anyway, do F1 cars even have headlights or air conditioning?

All that does not mean a modified, illegal F1 car could go even faster. It’s just a demonstration that LMP1s have the potential to be at least as fast as regular F1 cars – probably even if they installed headlights, wipers, air conditioning and other such stuff.

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On this day in F1

  • Born today in 1961: Pierluigi Martini

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  • 55 comments on “Life with Renault still a “rollercoaster” – Horner”

    1. Re COTD, not to take anything away but just out of curiosity: do WEC pu-s, batteries, gearboxes actually have to last longer Than f1?

      1. I feel like I’m about to get the “QI” hooter here, but don’t they have to last 24 hours or more, at least once in the season? That’s almost a full season of running time for an F1 powertrain.

        1. Mercedes claimed last year PU must last 5000km, about one LM24 race.

          But that features many oil changes, 10+ probably some rebuilds, tests, whatever is possible within regulations.

          F1 could probably win the LM24h if all 20 cars entered.

          1. @jureo Are rebuilds allowed?

            1. IIRC @tonyyeb engine teardowns are allowed for inspection, and during the rebuild, specific parts are listed as being allowed for replacement in the technical regulations. Apart from the obvious ones that must be replaced due to a teardown (like gaskets) there are other items that are not considered as core components that can be changed (e.g. the intake and exhaust plumbing, up to but excluding the turbo).

            2. Thanks for the clarification @phylyp

      2. I must say that while I agree with the CotD that Porsche did a nice job of showing how much faster the car could easily (as in with relatively doable work) go a lot faster, the comparison to F1 is completely amiss.

        Surely if you “complain” about the FIA/ACO limiting energy use in Lmp1, you cannot just ignore all the (comparable) limits set on in F1 on: fuel flow, fuel use, per lap limit of kynetic engergy use, max battery storage.

    2. chris97 (@chrismichaelaoun)
      23rd April 2018, 0:56

      Franchitti licked the stamp and sent it to Steiner.

      Awesome comeback.

      1. Then a few days later, they cancelled a race because it was too wet. Yup 🤷🏿‍♂️

      2. An ignorant comeback that is.

        Made out of bitterness

        1. @johnmilk If the words “ignorant” and “bitterness” in your comment refer to Steiner’s comments then I agree

        2. Can’t really expect a civilized discussion if you throw around words and terms like dumbing down. If indycar is dumbed down then f1 has been 2 car championship since 2014 driven with dumbed up cars fully controlled by electronics and road car tech.

          In the end what works for indycar won’t necessarily work for f1. F1 is chassis building championship and indycar isn’t. And f1 needs to be, indycar cannot afford to be.

          1. Tech wise indy cars are far far away from F1, that was the point Steiner was making and his opinion is that F1 shouldn’t go down that route. He pointed out as well what great series IndyCar is, of course ignoring that is a much better way to attack the guy.

            “Dumbing down” is a trending expression, it wasn’t used as an insult, Steiner heard it, felt it was appropriate, he is not native he will use whatever expression comes to mind that helps him make is point.

            Dario’s Franchitti comment is ignorant, Indy is a spec series, not just some parts, unless, as said by MrBoerns, the car is a part.

            And the Haas car isn’t built by others, it is the result of various technological partnerships, it is not like Dallara has a catalogue and they pick the one that suits them best.

            That’s what you get when people only read headlines, you would think it only happens between us fans, apparently not.

            1. @johnmilk I agree. I was surprised at the level of immaturity of Franchitti’s post. If you take everything Steiner says together, rather than just select quotes to suit one’s argument, I see nothing wrong with what he has said, and DF could have composed a much better, more educational post. As soon as DF said ‘Seems Steiner’s only qualification…’ he lost me and made me wonder if we were in a schoolyard.

              I do agree the term ‘dumb down’ is an unfortunate one, since both F1 and IndyCar consist of very smart and talented people, but the term is one F1 has used on itself as well, regarding certain changes that have been made, or regarding tracks with their forgiving runoff areas, or when referring to pending changes for 2021 and the concerns some have that have no reference to IndyCar but only to an F1 nobody wants to see.

            2. Why can’t we just all get along?

      3. ‘Some spec parts’- like, the car? That is one spec part, right?

    3. Real news is getting thin on the ground, come on liberty, time to organise a replacement for Bernie in the “outrageous comments” department.

      1. @hohum Prince Philip might be free on weekends now that he has retired…

        1. Perfect :-)

      2. @hohum – too early for championship speculations, too early for the silly season, so yeah, a bit of a quiet period. :-)

        But hey, the first round of flyaways are over, the European leg is beginning, so I’m sure things will get active real soon!

    4. Uh…why is Horner still whining about Renault? Shouldn’t he be aiming his dodgy metaphors at his ‘supplier’, TAG Heuer?

      If RBR doesn’t go with Honda next season, maybe they build their own engine with AM-branding and the slogan: “Red Bull Gives You Whinges”

      1. Ups and downs and rollercoasters sums up renault perfectly. You can luck into a win but you can also blow your engine. In the last race ricciardo had his turbo fail and he won the race. Red bull can’t do no right.

      2. A rollercoaster is a heck of a to better than a free fall… maybe a bungee experience. A bungee experience courtesy Honda.

      3. Jimmi Cynic
        There is one way to overcome their dependence on Renault or should that be Tag Heuer. Build you own power unit. I accept, they do pay for their power unit and are entitled to get their monies worth. But Horner & Dr. Marko’s constant whinging is not helping.

    5. Kudos for the CotD. It’s a cool achievement for a super-WEC car. Too bad ACO/WEC have effectively killed off LMP1.

    6. Regarding the COTD: It indeed is remarkable what Porsche did even though that lap time will ‘probably’ get beaten when F1 races there in four months time.
      – A little trivia here: Many people mightn’t know this (neither did I until today) that the driver mentioned in the ‘on this day in F1’ section holds the ‘unwanted’ record of most GP-starts (118; 124 if you take into account that he didn’t qualify for six out of those 118 races) without a single podium-finishing position.

      1. @keithcollantine it would be great to add a little trivia do the “on this day”. Especially when taking about historic figures. So it could be that: on this day was born a pierluigi martini a holder of unwanted record for most starts without podium. At that time regarded very highly by his rivals but never had the right machinery etc etc

      2. Hulkenberg has 138 F1 starts without a podium.

        1. But he hasn’t a team named after him :p

          1. LOL @Egonovi

        2. @broke84 Of course. That then means that I got misleading information when I googled him earlier today to find out who he is as I hadn’t even heard of him before.

    7. Steiner built the HAAS team after building a NASCAR team, sure they’re using data from Ferrari but to say he has no qualifications is a bit of a joke. Sure he’s a bit rough around the edges and I’m sure he wasn’t meaning to call Indycar dumb when he said F1 shouldn’t be dumbed down. Turning the whole topic into F1 vs Indycar or making it personal sucks.

      Pretty sure Steiner said it’s a good idea to talk to others and learn from what others are doing as well. At the end of the day it’s pretty clear there will be some spec parts, it’s just a matter of what, how much money the smaller teams can save by not having to develop that and how much closer it will bring them to being able to compete at the pointy end.

    8. @ COTD: yeah, remarkable but… not very. LMP cars are pretty much F1 cars with full bodywork and few other elements that remind of street cars. And it’s happening for decades.

      1. And “full bodywork” is the keyword here. Open wheel aerodynamics — one of the (hopefully) undeniable certainties of F1 — hardly count up to about 100mph; they get important at around 150mph, and at anything over 170 or 180mph they become more or less unmanageable, despite the $hundreds of millions of wind tunnel testing and fancy multi-tiered front wings that smaller teams can’t afford. Why have most aeroplanes for the last 90 years used retractable undercarriages to fly at anywhere near F1 speeds? A “wheel” becomes a rather large “rectangular block” to the airflow. LMP bodywork can eliminate a huge proportion of this drag, the Porsche numbers just prove it — they’re great, but not comparable with F1.

    9. In light of Sergio threatening to quit F1, I found this interesting. The likelihood is low, but imagine for a moment if Ferrari decided to enter Formula E (alongside F1), the general boost it would give to that series, what with the Germans already in it or joining soon.

      Ferrari Quietly—Very Quietly—Tests Electric Car
      Two years ago, Sergio Marchionne dubbed the notion of a Ferrari that can run without the aggressive growl of its 12-cylinder engines “obscene.” Today, it’s a reality.

      Marchionne, Ferrari’s chief executive officer, says the supercar manufacturer has been quietly—very quietly—testing a gasoline-electric hybrid car “you could run silently” at a track near its headquarters in the northern Italian town of Maranello.

      1. @phylyp, Marchionne has mentioned in the past that Ferrari may eventually look at joining Formula E, though it was more likely that another brand within the FCA Group would join instead.

        That said, I think that it will depend on whether Formula E can gain enough sponsorship appeal to secure itself on a firm financial footing for the longer term. The losses have been reducing, but last year they still lost nearly $40 million, and at some point you would expect that the teams involved in Formula E are going to want to start seeing more of a financial return from the series too.

        The other question, inevitably, is how long the current manufacturers will stay in that series – some might be prepared to tough it out for a while, but some might feel that, if they are there for an extended period of time with limited success, that it isn’t worth the investment and cut back. I mean, we did see a surge in interest in the WEC from manufacturers not that long ago, only for that to burn itself out in the end – what’s to say that we might not see a similar thing happen in Formula E?

        1. Very nice parallel around the interest and subsequent demise of the same in WEC.

          I agree that sustaining interest will be a challenge in FE, since the perception that FE is the socially and politically correct means to the future is what drove the initial interest of manufacturers, but converting that into a revenue stream is what will sustain their presence.

        2. though it was more likely that another brand within the FCA Group would join instead.

          I’d expect Maserati to be that brand, given their plan to release only EVs starting 2019.

          The losses have been reducing

          This is pertinent. They may have been making losses, but they have been reducing. Add to this the well-received new chassis, move to use a single car for the whole race, and other proposed changes such as opening up powertrain development. I think these are the reasons why Renault chose to give their interest in FE to Nissan from next year instead of pulling out completely. Renault as a company can focus on F1, but Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi as a group can reap the benefits of both F1 and FE.

          perception that FE is the socially and politically correct means to the future is what drove the initial interest of manufacturers

          But the interest is not showing signs of fading, not any time soon, anyway. IMO F1 poses the biggest threat to FE. 7-10 (maybe even 15) years down the line, if F1 decides to go fully electric, FIA will force FE either to be acquired by F1, or fold completely.

          1. But the interest is not showing signs of fading, not any time soon, anyway.

            Fair point @sundark . While interest in WEC faded, interest in FE might be put to the test by a “sharp” event such as a slowdown (heaven forbid such a thing should happen again!).

            IMO F1 poses the biggest threat to FE. 7-10 (maybe even 15) years down the line, if F1 decides to go fully electric, FIA will force FE either to be acquired by F1, or fold completely.

            I foresee a different future for F1. I think if vehicle electrification takes off big time in motorsport, then FE will grow to be the premier series, and F1 will continue to run, but using “classic” petrol-driven cars.

            Let’s reconvene on this point in a decade or two to see how it actually shook out :-)

          2. @sundark

            But the interest is not showing signs of fading, not any time soon, anyway.

            I swear it looked like that for the WEC as well a few eyars ago though (and in fact probably F1 as well some years earlier)

    10. “Yeah, who wants to watch a series with overtaking and drivers making a difference.”

      It is funny we want F1 to be more like Indy, yet we dont watch Indy.

      1. @jureo Thank you! We don’t want F1 to be more like Indy, F1 is already much more and better too. Those who are displeased will always shout the loudest, even when they represent a minority. Sure, F1 has issues, but I rather have F1 with its issues than Indycar right now.

        1. Yeah, but we want more overtaking, lower cost, chassis designed to improve following another car, simpler engines less expensive engines… etc etc.

          1. Yeah, it’s usually hard to say goodbye to something you grew up with. It’s cultured.

          2. @jureo I do watch both and always have. Easy for me though as I live north of Toronto and have always had access to both.

            ‘We want more overtaking…’ yeah, a little more.

            ‘Lower costs’…yeah but not IndyCar low.

            ‘Chassis’ designed to improve following’…finally, since that’s never been tried in F1.

            ‘Simpler less expensive engines…’ yes compared to the extreme PU’s we currently have, but they won’t be going back to V8’s, everyone knows that. They’ll still be expensive and complex.

            1. I guess, for starters I should watch some Indy races, the few ones I did watch were all good.

              Especially Indy500 last year. To be honest I’d love Indy if it featured top F1 drivers.

          3. Do we?

            It seems to me that Liberty is telling us what we want, just like Bernie used to.

            1. Is Liberty really telling us anything we don’t want to hear? An F1 that heads back a notch toward the basics, and with closer racing to boot. I have no issue with what Liberty is proposing, nor do I expect them to get it perfect, as there is no such thing, nor do I expect F1 to stop being a work in progress always, well beyond the 2021 changes.

          4. I want great racing; more over can or cannot be a result of that.

            I want the engines to be marvels of modern technology. Louder would be nice, but does not seem to be compatible with that (it’s either power or noice).

      2. It is funny we want F1 to be more like Indy, yet we dont watch Indy.

        @jureo I live in UTC+7 and have school, plus Indycar isn’t on TV at all here.

        The few races I did get to watch were quite good though. I hope I manage all of Indy 500 for once this year.

        That plus I guess sadly neither sound like this

    11. in the quote horner doesnt mention the engines, and even if, he clearly realizes that he’s using tag heuer engines…
      it’d be like: i drank the worst coffee in my entire life. damn red bull.

      1. When they win its a Tag Heuer! When it blows up on them its a Renault! The way Ricciardo pushed past Ferrari and Merc engined cars alike in Shanghai (discounting DRS) was ominous though. The Renault PU isn’t half bad…. when it’s working!

    12. Michael Brown (@)
      23rd April 2018, 19:02

      Why would anyone want to supply engines to Red Bull?

    13. RE; COTD @Bobec Seems to me that F1 is enjoying the (brief) renaissance that WEC had a few years ago, and vice versa! It’s surely no coincidence that all those points you mentioned correlate with (almost) all the big WEC manufacturers jumping ship! Its such a shame, WEC has real potential to push the limits and be truly great at what it does…. yet the powers that be keep pressing the self destruct button. Sounds all to familiar.

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