New Renault engine bears little resemblance to 2016 model

Credit: Renault Sport Formula 1 Team

Renault are set to introduce an all-new concept engine this season, which the French manufacturer say will bear very little comparison to last year’s model.

Having disappointed in terms of power and performance in 2015, which brought about the notable dispute with customer team Red Bull Racing, the engine manufacturer upped their game last season, making a significant step forward in terms of development.

Despite achieving those gains however, the 2017 unit will be very different, having undergone a remodelling of the internal combustion engine structure, and bringing in a second-generation energy recovery system, which Renault Sport Formula 1 Team Engine Chief, Remi Taffin, discussed at the launch of the RS17 on Tuesday.

“The engine is 95 percent different. 

“We put a lot of effort to gain on the weight on every single part as we knew we need to make an effort on that part.”

Having exhausted all avenues on their previous power unit design, it left Renault with little alternative but to create a completely new concept. Such a mammoth change, having been there or thereabouts last year, could be opening the team up to disaster, but Taffin believes it is a risk worth taking.

“This engine is more based on what we’ll be doing for the next three years.

“It’s definitely risky to change anything in the power unit because everything goes with everything. When you change something here, it could have a knock-on effect on everything so you have to be careful. 

“Everyone says last year you had a very good year and a good track record for reliability so why have you then changed everything this year?

“It’s because we knew we had to make one more step and also because we decided this 15 months ago.

“From what we saw last year, we got to the limit of the concept we had and then we move on.”

Taffin also agreed that the abandoning of last year’s token system has allowed engineers to work more freely on the design this time around, which has been extremely helpful.

“When we had the token system, you think ‘if I change this, then I can change this and this as well and then I can move onto the next package’. 

“This time, you do not even think about that so it’s just freeing up your mind.”