Tag Archives: Renault Sport F1

Formula 1

Renault Final V8

Renault Sport F1 gives victorious send off to RS27 V8 engine in Brazil—
  • Sebastian Vettel (Infiniti Red Bull Racing-Renault) became the last winner of a race using an F1 V8 engine in today’s Brazilian Grand Prix. Mark Webber finished second in his final F1 race, giving a 1-2 finish for the RS27
  • Renault won the first V8-powered race in 2006 (Bahrain GP) and now comes full circle to win the final event
  • It is a hat-trick for end-of-era successes for Renault, with wins at the last race of the 3.0l V10 engine era (2005) and 3.5l V10 era (1994)
  • Renault is the most successful engine manufacturer under the current engine regulations, with 60 wins, 66 pole positions and 56 fastest laps, plus 5 Constructors’ and Drivers’ championships
  • In more than 30 years of competition in the FIA Formula One World Championship, Renault has won 12 titles (30% of the available titles), 2 under its own banner (2005 and 2006) and additionally as an engine supplier (1992-1997 and 2010-2013). Renault also holds the record for the most engine manufacturer poles in the sport (213)
  • Renault now bids to win back-to-back titles in the next engine era, which sees the Renault Energy F1 V6 turbocharged Power Units introduced next season

This weekend Renault Sport F1, the F1 division of Renault, consolidated its record as Formula 1’s most successful V8 engine manufacturer. Sebastian Vettel’s win in the Brazilian Grand Prix, held in Sao Paulo, took its tally of wins to 60, over 40% of the wins of the eight year period.

Over this era, the V8 engine developed by 250 engineers at Renault Sport F1’s headquarters in Viry-Châtillon has won 5 Constructors’ titles with two partners, Infiniti Red Bull Racing (2010-2011-2012-2013) and Renault F1 Team (2006).

Rob White, deputy managing director (technical) looks back on the V8s: ‘Getting to the end of an engine formula is a time for reflection and I am proud of what we’ve achieved. The birth of the V8 was an opportunity, but also an enormous challenge. We were fighting for the 2005 championship with the last V10 and ultimately succeeding brought a weight of expectation to bear. The team at Viry did a great job to manage the development of two engines in parallel and to win with both.

Among the wins that stand out for me is the first race of the V8 era, the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2006, won by Alonso. It was a fantastic relief to know that our hard work and difficult choices had been on the right track. We had been up against it for the development of the V8, and we took some decisions that surprised our competitors and onlookers at the time – for example we were very late to test on track;  everyone else was running an interim car on circuits while we were back at base dyno testing!

Securing the title at the last race in 2006 was a very special feeling. To show how intense it was, I do not actually remember the race in Brazil – I remember more the reaction at the factory and the celebrations with all the Renault  team.

Winning as both a team owner and an engine supplier is also a major achievement, also to adapt to the very different requirements of both environments. In Abu Dhabi 2010 we pulled it off with Red Bull Racing when Vettel won his first Drivers’ championship. We had had some problems during the season, but remained focused and determined to support our partner to the end. The race was very tense and Sebastian’s victory in the race and well-earned championship were a great relief.

Winning today seems a fitting end to the era – we’ve won a lot of races and learned a great deal. The challenge facing the Viry team for 2014 cannot be underestimated. Success in the past is no guarantee of success in the future, but if we keep the same spirit and work ethic that have yielded results with the V8, it bodes well for next year and beyond.’

With the curtain now down on the normally-aspirated V8 engines, the scene is set for the downsized, turbocharged V6 Power Units equipped with potent electrical recovery systems in 2014.

 

Motorsports Mondial

Renault Sport F1 preview to the Monaco GP

The Principality plays host to the sixth round of the championship, which has so far produced a different winner each time out. Williams F1 Team’s Pastor Maldonado sealed victory at the last event, marking the debut win for the Williams-Renault package in its latest incarnation.

Williams, along with Red Bull Racing, Lotus F1 Team and Caterham F1 Team, will require a highly responsive engine to be delivered by Renault Sport F1 to suit the tight, sinuous bends of the 3.340km Monte Carlo circuit. As such, the challenge is to deliver a highly responsive engine through maps that target torque through the lower rev limits of the engine (around 15 – 17,000rpm) rather than the top end (16 – 18,000rpm) to give drive and response on the entry and exit to the corners.

The average speed round the track is the lowest of the year, just 160kph, and the engine spends a touch over 50% of the lap at full throttle, compared to around 70% at the purpose-built facilities. The top speed peaks at only 290kph through the tunnel section compared to well over 320kph (with DRS-activated) at the last event in Spain.

The curved pit straight is not really a straight at all and the run to the first corner from pole position is the shortest of the season: only 140 metres. The pole sitter will cover this distance in approximately four seconds, which will not give a significant amount of time for KERS to be activated fully.

The run from the first corner to Casino Square sees the circuit climb over 30m in just 10secs. A responsive engine is key here and engine maps will be designed to work with short gear ratios to hit the rev limit at the top of the hill. There could be a possibility to use KERS on this climb, but the steep gradient will reduce its effectiveness.

The streets of Monaco are notoriously bumpy and the engine will hit the rev limiter on several occasions throughout the lap. This is particularly hard on the internals of the engine, which become highly stressed. Even if it’s just for a nano second, running over a bump could cause the car to take off. With no load running through the wheels the engine suddenly hits the rev limiter, causing a loss of time and potential damage to the engine. Drivers try to avoid the largest bump on the run down from Casino into the Mirabeau by running off line.

The Grand Hotel Hairpin sees the engine running at the lowest speed and revs it reaches on track at any point in the year; just 44kph and around 6,500rpm. It is also the only point on the calendar where the driver needs to shift his hands on the wheel to get enough lock on the steering wheel.

The tunnel section is the only chance the cars get to hit top speed and maximum rev limit apart from the short pit straight. The driver exits Portier in 2nd gear and shifts up through the gears through the tunnel. The engine needs to have good acceleration here so the driver can reach vMax quickly; the ‘straight’ is very short – only 670m from the exit of Portiers to the chicane, or around eight or nine seconds.

While the tunnel section provides a welcome breath of air for the engine as it reaches the top speed, it’s not clean air – the enclosed nature of the tunnel means the air going into the engine through the airbox is as hot as the ambient temperatures seen in Malaysia or Abu Dhabi.

Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 Team

Every driver loves Monaco – the precision needed on each lap is just phenomenal, both from yourself and from the engineering team. In any formula this is the case, but even more so in F1 where the cars are so sensitive. Even though I know the track from GP2, it’s my first time driving an F1 car in Monaco, so I have been spending a lot of time preparing. We need to have confidence in the engine and know that it will deliver the power and grip into and out of every single corner so you can attack the track. In fact, I expect it will be the race where I spend the most amount of time working with the engine engineer as getting the right response out of the slow corners can win you tenths of a second.

Rémi Taffin, Renault Sport F1 head of track operations

Monaco is a massive challenge to get right. In terms of man power hours Monaco is the race that RSF1 engineers spend the most time preparing – anything from two to four days in the dyno and the design office compared to around one day for an average race such as Spain.

It’s incredibly slow so the focus is on delivering driveability through the lower rev ranges but also getting the gear ratios right to give effective acceleration between the corners. Getting the correct ratios is always a compromise; the right gear ratio for one corner is not necessarily right for the others.

In addition we have to provide effective cooling solutions as the high number of turns means that the engine isn’t given any respite over the course of a lap and systems can overheat if not monitored correctly. The dirt and debris from being a street track means the inlets can become blocked, but we can’t afford to put any cooling holes or additional louvre panels to help out – the tight corners demand such high downforce settings that every bit of bodywork affects performance.

The bumps are also a major issue for engine engineers. The drivers will run over manhole covers, kerbs, white lines and sometimes even huge bumps so the engine hits the rev limiter much more than we do at a permanent track like Sepang or Monza. To avoid this we pay particular attention to the shift light pattern and even encourage the driver to shift early.

It’s a difficult one to get right but we’re really keen to do well. So far this year our partners have been having a good run and we are pleased that our contribution has helped in some way. Renault engined teams have scored more than any other engine over the championship, with two wins and six podiums so we naturally very motivated to continue this form in Monaco.