Cyril Abiteboul has confirmed that Renault will introduce a second generation Energy Recovery System (ERS) for the 2017 Formula 1 season, as part of a radical overhaul of its power unit.
The French car manufacturer feel they have reached the end of the development potential of the first system, after using the engine for the past three years, and are making the move to work on a complete redesign for this season.
Ahead of the pre-season testing in Barcelona, managing director Abiteboul confirmed some of the changes that Renault would be implementing in 2017, with the second generation of ERS being introduced for the first time.
“This year we want to confirm the turnaround of the situation on the engine,” he said. “Last year was really fantastic, and we need to confirm that.
“We are going to have an all-new architecture on the internal combustion engine, and also be introducing for the first time the second generation of Energy Recovery System.”
The changes to the Renault ERS come as the relationship with Infiniti is closer, a partnership that was introduced ahead of last season. It means Renault now doesn’t need to outsource work on its systems and can bring it all in-house with the Renault-Nissan Alliance. From this progress has been made quicker, along with more control over the end product.
Before working with Renault, Infiniti had been a title sponsor for Red Bull Racing but with them switching to Renault they have changed their approach to F1, and Abiteboul relates their relationship to building blocks, hoping a healthy foundation can be created for the future.
“Frankly it is really the start of our relationship,” said Abiteboul. “Last year was done a little bit in a rush to a certain degree.
“Although Infiniti was already prepared – because some of that was just a transfer of what was in existence between Red Bull and Renault Sport. But for the rest we are building blocks – blocks which I hope are healthy foundations for the future and the next 5-10 years, which is the extent of time we have to think of any F1 involvement.”
Renault have not denied that their ERS performance has been lacking, with Abiteboul confirming there is still plenty of gains that can be found, with Scuderia Toro Rosso joining the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team and Red Bull as customers in 2017.
“There are an awful lot of collateral aspects to consider,” he added. “Like weight, packaging, cooling requirements.
“Plus the intensity of the current that you can use in certain conditions, in particular climatic conditions. There are certain things that look like they are secondary, but in F1 nothing is secondary.
“Once you have reached the top, which is an MGU that can deliver 120KW, you still need to think about these extra elements if you want make your way and reach the top as a team.”