Tag Archives: engine freeze

Renault allowed to make engine improvements

The Renault RS27 engine

The Renault RS27 engine

Renault has been allowed by the FIA to make changes to their engines, even though the governing body had previously rules out any power equalisation for this year.

The changes are believed to be to save costs and for reliability. This comes after Red Bull team principal Christian Horner complained to the FIA that not all of the engines were equal, after the engine freeze. He said:

"I think the problem is if you don't allow some development, then you freeze in an advantage for one team or a 
disadvantage for another.

So there has to be a balancing of that, otherwise we will end up with Mercedes-powered cars winning all the races - 
which I think is not good for F1. And other manufacturers may choose to leave F1 off of the back of that.

The engine isn't supposed to be a key performance differentiator and therefore hopefully the ruling body will balance 
out somewhat the differences there at the moment."

It has been understood that the FIA is moving away from engine equalisation because they do not feel there is enough power difference between the many engine types. Despite this, Renault has put in many requests to develop certain parts of their engine, for cost and reliabiliy reasons. These requests have been mostly accepted.

However, the FIA rejected the requests to make changes to help Renault’s fuel consumption, as they felt that it was purely for performance reasons. Already, teams who run Renault engines can carry about 10kg less fuel than anyone else at the start of the race. Therefore, any further fuel consumption improvements would mean too large a performance advantage to Red Bull and Renault.

At the moment, neither Red Bull or Renault are lacking in engine power – Robert Kubica got the fastest lap at one point in Bahrain don’t forget. But, the Achilles heel of these teams – the reliability – may be getting better, after these latest changes.

No equalising of F1 engines for 2010

The Cosworth CA2010 engines, being used for 5 teams this year

The Cosworth CA2010 engines, being used for 5 teams this year

The FIA has decided that engine equalisation will not take place for 2010.

Engine equalisation is the process where all the different types of engines (4 of them next year) are balanced out in terms of performance, fuel consumption and reliabilty, by adding, removing, retuning and adjusting certain engine mechanics.

Engines in Formula 1 have been frozen (no development allowed) since 2008. However, teamsĀ  were allowed to change parts of the engine for reliabilty reasons. But, some engines had a definitive power advantage, and Renault were left behind. The Mercedes engine, for example, is believed to produce 18bhp more than the Renault engine, which is worth around to 3 tenths of a second per lap.

However, this season there will be an even bigger problem with the engines – fuel consumption. The Renault engine, if filled with the same amount of fuel as the Mercedes engine, can do 3 more laps. Because refuelling is banned for next year, it means that Renault can save around 7kg in fuel, which is a massive advantage to have. The Ferrari engines are the most thirsty engines on track, and they will be hugely disadvantaged by this.

Cosworth, as we know, will be returning to supplying F1 engines for the first time since 2006. The FIA has allowed them to develop their engine, as long as it balances out against the other teams. It is apparent that the most important factor for the engines next year will be the fuel consumption. If Cosworth fail to get their engines up to scratch, it will severely damage the Williams, Lotus, Virgin, USF1 and Campos teams.

So, if engines remain around the same as they did last year, Red Bull will be at the biggest advantage here. Their Renault engine means they have 7kg extra in ballast to move around, meaning more flexibility in their chassis design. Provided that Adrian Newey can deliver the goods, they may well be the team to beat next year.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 55 other followers