Renault allowed to make engine improvements
March 19, 2010
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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.