Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Mugello, 2020

Renault’s car “working very, very well” in newfound sweet spot

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In the round-up: Renault sporting director Alan Permane says Renault were potentially the third-quickest team at Mugello.

What they say

Permane referred to recent comments Daniel Ricciardo made about how a set-up improvement the team discovered for the car in low-downforce trim can be translated to higher downforce tracks.

Daniel’s comments in the press recently about finding a set-up sweet spot, that’s definitely right. The car was working very, very well.

But also it’s obvious to see in final practice when we moved away from that sweet spot a little bit – trying to improve things, of course – it wasn’t working so well.

So getting it back to qualifying and again car working really well again I think he was, of course, unlucky with Esteban going off and I think we could have justifiably been fifth on the grid – if we’d had perfect qualifying I think we’re fifth and six.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

@Johnrkh thinks F1’s poll on reverse grids is designed to nudge people towards particular response:

Had a look at then filled it out. Like all modern polls it was full of leading questions trying to corral you down a specific path. I voted disagree and said F1 should wait to see how the budget cap and new rules work before introducing a gimmick that was likely to be manipulated anyway
JohnH (@Johnrkh)

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  • 67 comments on “Renault’s car “working very, very well” in newfound sweet spot”

    1. Nothing but admiration for Mark Hughes there…

      A human, made a mistake. Took a while, learned what a mistake it was…. Apologised heartfeltedly. Humility at it’s best.

      We are but humans, we’ll get things wrong. Accepting mistakes and trying to correct them or at the very least finding a way to learn and move forward is the way to get out of this pickle humanity finds itself in.

      1. There is a lot of stuff that ages badly as we understand more about other peoples culture and attitudes and the intent is equally as important as content in judging past behaviour. Its very good that he held his hand up about it though and plans to learn from it.

        1. Just seeing the article for the first time. Couldn’t finish reading it. Cant believe it was published.

          1. Same for me. I’ve often enjoyed his pieces over the years but this was stomach churning. It’s good he is holding his hands up about it (as opposed to ignoring it, or making some lame excuse) but I don’t feel he should be applauded for that particularly. The mea culpa doesn’t excuse that egregious article.

            1. So what do you suggest? Jail time? Public flogging? ‘Deplatforming’?

              People have to be allowed to make mistakes and move on from them. That’s what improvement is all about, whether that’s in a sporting sense (see Mercedes) or a personal one.

            2. Obviously not jail time. But everytime he says something worthwhile, does some good, succeeds in his chosen field; we should bring it up and throw it in his face. Bit like we do with Hamilton lying all those years ago about giving a place back, or making a poor reference to the AliG joke.

              Although to be honest I was expecting an article today about Joe Saward as he was in the twitter dog house Wednesday. Must be Marks turn today.

            3. @riptide do I dare ask what it was that Joe Saward had been doing?

        2. You’re telling me that in 2012 he wasn’t aware of prominent that racial stereotype was towards the black community? He’s old enough to remember the Minstrel Show.

      2. @Davey – well said.
        Unfortunately, At my last employment, my manager, whom i had great respect, heard me apologise to a person outside the company. When that person was out of earshot, he told me it was political savvy not to apologise.
        I still adhere to the principle that if one makes a mistake, admit it, apologise & either fix it or get on with life.

        Off tangent, but really irks me that, whilst not against BLM, Hamilton had a big spat at Bernie Ecclestone for saying words to the effect that a number of black people are racist. How naive & narrowminded of LH.
        Now Bernie E. has not only been ‘around the block‘ a few times, but around the world too!
        I am not aware of any race, creed, colour or whatever that does not contain an element that support’s racism.
        I believe ‘ALL Lives Matter’.

        1. I stand to be corrected, but didnt Bernie say ‘black people are often more racist’?

        2. Ancient1, that would be the same Bernie Ecclestone who has previously spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories of the type expounded by the extreme right (such as claiming that the Jewish community “have a lot of influence everywhere” and run the entire international finance system), before then making comments defending Hitler?

          As far as I am aware, although he later withdrew the remarks about Hitler, he never withdrew the other comments – Bernie might have been “around the world too”, but he’s certainly shown some quite questionable and intolerant viewpoints of others.

        3. “All Lives Matter” translation is I am racist or extremely ignorant.

        4. The same way (hopefully!) you don’t wear a swastika defending that it was originally a religious symbol you shouldn’t say “all lives matter” unless you are a racist supremacist! Black Lives Matter does not mean anyone non-black does not matter but that black lives matter as much as any other life. Basic English should be enough to understand it.

      3. In 2008 he wasn’t well advanced in racial stereotypes…. really?

    2. About COTD: how can the particular format of reverse qualifying that is being proposed be manipulated?

      1. Just off the top of my head, Red Bull could be let through by Toro Rosso who then fight and block Mercedes aggressively. A team with a number one driver could ensure their 2nd driver does just enough to always be a little ahead in the qualifying races to let their teammate through then block their championship rivals.

        There will also be more risk of the WDC competitors being punted out of the race by midfield teams with nothing to lose and no worries about losing a few points.

        Thats a few quick thoughts without putting much consideration into how the teams can really cheat it.

        1. @slowmo Secondary teams have always had some ability to hinder their rivals more than their parent teams – I don’t remember it often being a big issue. With reverse grids obviously it depends which circuits they use, but in most cases the top teams will get past easily with DRS. It still happens sometimes when the top teams pit earlier than the midfielders.

          I highly doubt drivers will throw away championship points to improve their grid position slightly. I’m assuming the reverse grid races will be at least 3-4 races into the season to avoid intentional DNFs to get an early front row start. I don’t expect it would be heavily manipulated because at best you would throw away a few points in the race prior to the reverse grid, just to gain 1-2 positions in a reverse grid race which itself only sets the grid for the main race.

      2. It was the questions and they way they were designed – and yes they were very very much designed to get the answer they were after.

        I despair at the way Fan Voice is so blatant.

        1. Yeah I stopped answering them some time ago as they always are blatantly leading,usually somewhere I don’t want to end up at.

          1. Presumably you are smart enough to see through their ‘leading questions’ then?
            Answer the way you want your answer to be viewed.
            Not answering at all won’t tell them what you want them to know.

            1. The questions and the way they are structured don’t always allow you to answer them in a way that the outcome cannot be distored.

            2. Sure they do.
              If you know they are leading to a positive response for reverse grid qualifying and you don’t want that, then tell them that you didn’t like the unpredictability or chaos of that race.
              Play their game – your way. Be creative.

            3. Surprises me that ppl don’t get this.

            4. I did the survey and found ample opportunity to express my dismay at reverse quali races, so I really don’t buy that it is only giving options that would lead them to believe everyone must be for it. And especially having the comment section to fill in any holes that one might feel the questions did not address or one suspects tried to shade things, I don’t see how one cannot get their view across between answering the questions and then being able to comment on both the topic and the integrity of the questions. If the questions had been more one sided and there was no opportunity to comment, perhaps I’d be more suspicious. As it was I think I had a fair chance to make my opinion clear.

              If anything, even though I have been all for an experiment (and nothing more), and because I worry they might think it would be good beyond 2021, I just implied throughout that I was strongly against reverse grid quali races at 4 events next season.

            5. Good that you all know what I mean. Sure one can always just go to other and explain, without that it would be dishonest rather than leading. It is just usually a waste of my energy to tell people on the internet they are wrong.

      3. I think the comment was a good example that not everyone really took the time to understand how the reverse grid qualifying system would actually work – rejecting it on principle.

      4. Extremely easily. Simply aim to do badly in the session before the reversal.

        1. You mean the entire championship?

          How do people still not know that the reverse grid qualifying race would be based solely on championship order?!
          At least do some research to find out exactly what it is that you oppose! It’s been published here several times, and is all over the F1 website. And the rest of the internet.

    3. lifted this off reddit as it sums up exactly what was on my mind

      Journalists pander to the mob. That Lewis was some black wannabe rap-star with hiphop friends and was only interested in his career outside of F1 was a common theme on the Autosport forums back in his early career.
      I remember you have people livid that he invited “hip hop friends” (black people) into the paddock and into the garages where they might (or allegedly did?) damage stuff, while the next day a post of picture of Schumacher trashing a hotel room or some catering area after a championship win was him being one of the lads.
      Anything he said or action he took was gone over with a fine tooth comb to point out how it was arrogant, rude or fake. But Raikkonen smashing a glass and walking off for someone else to sort out is hilarious and just Kimi being Kimi, one of the lads.

      People put a lot of hate Hamilton gets down to the success he’s having now, as being the pantomime villain. I think those people are either new to F1 or have short memories. It’s been there since day one, and I think it’s actually much better since he became successful, not worse.

      Some people genuinely seem to think as long as they avoid saying certain words (in publicly at least, Whatsapp lads group is all just a laugh) then they clearly aren’t racist. They’re usually the first to come up with some extreme example of political correctness gone maaaaad and “you can’t say anything nowadays”.

      In this instance, considering the time and how I remember the Autosport forums around then, this is likely just a scummy journalist pandering to what the mob was saying and wants to hear.

      1. Very good post.

        1. Im still trying to work out what Kimi’s point was. Two drivers, Hunt and Ham wore t shirts when they should have been in sponsors gear and neither gave a damn, Kimi wears what is told like a good boy. Ham hangs around with rock stars and the worlds top models and is on a million seller album, Kimi is a family man who gets drunk and insults those who cant answer back. And its Kimi who lives the rock and roll lifestyle? Kimi is desperate to remain in F1, Ham says he’s not fussed if they sack him.
          This sounds like an old man in mom jeans telling his son (who also designs for Hilfiger) that he is not cool.

          1. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
            18th September 2020, 10:22

            Im still trying to work out what Kimi’s point was.

            Does there have to be a point? The guy saw an opportunity to make a cheeky joke on social media, and went for it. Why must we add 50 different layers of subtext to that?

            Also:

            This sounds like an old man in mom jeans telling his son (who also designs for Hilfiger) that he is not cool.

            You sound like you were trying very hard not to use the phrase, “Okay, boomer.”

            1. You trying to put a different layer on this by a reference to boomer? Heard the expression, mainly from Americans, not sure what why its a derogatory thing to throw at someone.
              And yes, I think you will find jokes usually have a point or punchline. From what you write clearly you have no idea what it was either. Is it that both Hunt and Kimi were drunks?
              So now Im no wiser about Kimi or whats behind the boomer expression. Took me ages to work out what snowflake was, only because most people who threw it out as an insult didnt know either.

            2. AllTheCoolNamesWereTaken
              18th September 2020, 12:30

              Is it that both Hunt and Kimi were drunks?

              That’s not how I would have phrased it, @riptide, but yeah, sure. Close enough.

            3. Fair enough. Party animals then.

      2. Pedro Boal Carvalho
        18th September 2020, 16:31

        Perfectly summarized. Kudos

    4. I’m really pleased that Renault has found a sweet spot and that they’re definitely showing signs of moving forward.

      With them and McLaren finding something this year it goes to show just how difficult it is to hit the ground running in any year – has taken nearly 1/2 of a season to get there despite the enormous amount of analytic tools and data every team has. RBR a is another that seems to take far too long to actually find that “sweet spot” every year.

      One can only marvel at the skills that a team like Mercedes must have to have been so consistently quick for so long.

    5. …Toyota TS050 Hybrid…

      According to Toyota Gazoo Racing, the power unit in this car is at 736 kw or 1000 hp. The engine has a capacity of 2.4 litre. I’m not sure how this engine would compare with those currently used in F1, but if the power output is similar (and assuming similar fuel flow restrictions) then maybe it would be worth allowing engines with this format into the series.

      1. It would not come very far on the fuel flow and max fuel capacity limits though @drycrust. That would have to be a LOT of coasting. Otherwise that engine would probably be down only a few kW on the current Ferrari engine and about 20-30 on the best of the pack.

        1. @bascb: Max fuel flow limit for LMP1 hybrids is 80kg/hr, 20 kg/hr less than F1.
          The engines that Porsche and Toyota build seem to be significantly simpler and easier to build than the complex thing in the back of F1 cars.
          Porsche even tried to get there engine to be allowed in F1, so they could race F1. It’s no suprise non of the current teams were for that.

          1. SadF1fan, it’s hard to tell whether that really is the case because Toyota have published very little technical data – I believe they’ve never even published fairly basic data, such as the bore or stroke of the engine, let alone confirmed any of the more advanced details (e.g. whether they’re taking advantage of the sort of turbulent jet ignition system that is in use in F1).

            Similarly, you won’t find a lot of technical information on Toyota’s energy recovery systems – even the basic detail that they have KERS units on both the front and rear axles is not hugely publicised (that is perhaps in part because there were questions over whether some teams were using the KERS units as a way of implementing a form of anti-lock braking and traction control).

            Porsche, too, were not hugely forthcoming with details either, although it’s questionable if their power unit really would be all that much cheaper given it also employs a similar MGU-H to that used in F1. Although Porsche and Audi were very reluctant to discuss how much they were spending, the little information they gave in the early 2010s was already pointing at budgets in excess of €100 million a year (Dr Ullrich stated in 2013, when the first Audi hybrid turned up, that €100 million was the minimum you needed for a full season in the WEC) – some were suggesting up to €150 million at the peak of the spending war in the WEC.

            The size of the budgets that Porsche and Audi had suggests that their power units probably weren’t that cheap, especially given that much of the car couldn’t be developed during the season (e.g. no aerodynamic upgrades could be introducing during the season).

      2. @drycrust ostensibly it is listed as a power output of 500bhp from the engine (i.e. that figure of 736kW is 50% engine and 50% energy recovery system).

        In reality, though, it will almost certainly vary from that because of the “Equivalence of Technology” regulations – those regulations alter the total amount of energy the cars can produce, which includes altering the fuel flow rate between seasons. What has not been clarified is what fuel flow rate was allowed when Toyota quoted those values – it is possible that it was a higher value than we have right now, but the problem is that Toyota have not provided a lot of details on the power train of the TS050.

        @bascb not necessarily, because I believe the maximum fuel flow rate in the WEC is normally set at a lower level than Formula 1 uses. In the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans, the hybrid cars were allowed a maximum fuel flow rate of 80kg/hr – so there is headroom with regards to the fuel flow rate.

        The power output at the current fuel flow rate is something that is maybe less competitive though (although the exact power output is a little uncertain given we don’t know the fuel flow rate that Toyota was using when quoting that initial value of 500bhp). Crudely linearly increasing the fuel flow rate to 100kg/hr at a maximum and assuming the power output increases at the same rate would suggest 625bhp could be achieved, but that ICE power output would probably not be competitive in F1 – then again, that’s probably not surprising given that Toyota will have designed that engine to operate in rather different circumstances.

        1. Thanks for the advice. It just seems to me that with the very strict fuel flow limitations then maybe there’s room to allow other engine formats. As you say, it is probably unlikely the Toyota engine is powerful enough, but the rules bar anyone from thinking about it. In a few years time they’ll be wanting to think about a new power unit format, but the rules prevent them from thinking about anything else.

    6. Thanks for COTD

    7. The poll certainly wanted you to tell them Monza was super exciting and we should do it again. I’m sure they’ll come back with the results saying “people want this” even if you then disagreed with the idea of reverse grid races.

      1. @fer-no65 Judging from how biased the ‘poll’ was and comments by Brawn etc, it’s clearly on the Liberty agenda and will surely be pushed through no matter what. A ‘wrong’ poll result would likely not stand in their way so agree it will either be ignored with how it was ‘inconclusive’, or they will single out the ‘enjoyed the Italian GP’ to justify it.

      2. The poll certainly wanted you to tell them Monza was super exciting

        F1 doesn’t need their own poll to show that. We (the reasonable and legit fans at Racefans.net) gave that race 9’s and 10’s in Rate the Race (73% of us).

        We all seemed to love it. I even recall how vicious the response was I got when I claimed it wasn’t ‘a great race’ in my opinion (with my reasoning).

        I guess we collectively should do a mea culpa on Twitter.
        @fer-no65

        1. I voted 6 I believe so there were others that thought it wasn’t all that either.

      3. @fer-no65 It’s particularly frustrating because the reason the Italian GP was interesting was because there was a lot of disruption to the norm. Changing the norm (as reverse grids seek to do) do not help, and in fact putting the faster cars behind slower ones when the actual reason for the interest in the race was because those cars were either out of the race or damaged to the point where their pace was similar… …but because of the damage, the pace was coming from different routes. (I didn’t find Lewis’ DRS passing interesting because there was no tension).

        Making 25% of the survey about answering the question “I think that the World Champion should be the best all round racing driver, taking into account their speed, overtaking ability, strategy and their ability to fight for victories” makes it sound like this survey is more about deciding what to put on the press release than actually caring about public opinion.

    8. A device like that particle hoover these students deviced would be amazing if they added it to F1.

    9. I didn’t feel quite like that about the Fan Voice poll.

    10. Very excited with the Renault development. Not just for Alonso’s return, but for the field bunching up and even more unpredictability in the midfield. Also for the tough years they’ve endured finally ending.

      1. Its just them stating it. Could be 100% PR talk in search of new/additional sponsor income. It certainly hasnt materialised in results so far.

        1. Close to podiums and fastest lap at Spa is undeniable. Perhaps the most promising is that the car worked in a more high downforce configuration at Mugello now. Let’s see in Sochi.

          1. @balue Mugello wasn’t considered to be an especially high downforce circuit though – a number of teams were running modified versions of their Spa aero package, meaning it was more low to medium downforce.

    11. Dayum Renault going well, McLaren going well too. What is this?

      In Reality this is Ferrari/Honda teams under-performing. When RedBull falls away due to technical difficulties, and Ferrari have a plain sucky engine, Renault looks like a one smooth operation.

      Are they the secret benefactors of new engine mode restrictions? It seems to me like they had the least powerful “party” mode. And now all of a sudden they are raking in some benefits.

      Needless to say they also unlocked some aero potential with setup sweet spot.

      Which is just what we want before Alonso gets back next year. Anywhere within half a second of Mercedes and he is within victory range. (Unless he has grown old meanwhile, always a possibility.)

    12. Can’t wait to see what one of the goats can do with Renault next year!

      1. +1 properly excited for it

    13. I still don’t really get why many in F1 seem to be of the opinion that Monza was proof a reverse grid race would work because in reality Monza was nothing like what a reverse grid race would actually be like & wasn’t even really that good a race in terms of the racing.

      It was a fun race not because of the racing but because some unexpected things happened that altered the order & then Hamilton/Mercedes made a mistake which got him a penalty that put him at the back. The racing itself was fairly dull & I don’t think you can really say that any of Hamilton’s passes as he recovered were especially exciting to watch.

      It just highlights to me that those running the sport don’t know what a good race actually is as they are just obsessed with stats. They see fans say a race was fun but fail to look at the reasons why, They see a race had a billion passes but fail to look at how exciting/memorable those passes actually were.

      It’s like that Bernie sprinkler idea. It’s just looking at the fact that Wet/Dry races that have sudden showers do tend to be more exciting & fans usually enjoy them. But they are exciting because it’s unexpected & unpredictable & keeps teams/drivers guessing. If you know the sprinklers are going to come on during the race you lose that unexpected element that is a big part of what creates the excitement when it just happens naturally.

      1. It just highlights to me that those running the sport don’t know what a good race actually is as they are just obsessed with stats. They see fans say a race was fun but fail to look at the reasons why, They see a race had a billion passes but fail to look at how exciting/memorable those passes actually were.

        @stefmeister This.

        Italy was the most unpredictable race of 2020 so far but as you say it had little to do with the on track action it was simply down to circumstances that led to a situation that made the order more jumbled than usual.

        To take that race as an example that reverse grids are needed does indicate that Liberty, Sky (Who are the worst thing to ever happen to F1) & others running the show don’t get that & that should be a real concern going forward.

    14. Why is Mark Hughes groveling because of something said 12 years ago? Are people getting into time machines, going back to 2008 and becoming offended?

      Shame on those who dig up dirt on others.

      1. Well thank god you are above that.

      2. Once guilty (even if allegedly it was your father saying something before you were born) always guilty. Some time ago there was similar controversy where a racing driver’s son lost sponsorship because allegedly his father had used a racist word in the 80s. Before the said driver was even born. Yes, that happened.
        https://www.thedrive.com/accelerator/23138/conor-dalys-nascar-backing-pulled-after-fathers-alleged-use-of-the-n-word
        The way I see it people should be celebrated if they can make the change and become non-racists. To make a change to be good instead of be bad. What you are now matters more than what you or your father said 35 years ago. But no, we seem to prefer a witch hunt. All this really erodes my trust in the good in people who claim to be on the right side.

    15. That’s why Red Bull is hurting so much after Ricciardo left. They have a “much” better engine (by their own claims at least), but in 2019 they were no closer to Mercedes than they were in 2014, 2016 or 2018.

      Neither are they this season really and that’s after Ferrari is no longer a contender to take points or wins away from RB

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