Cyril Abiteboul insists Renault Sport are going to be stricter in 2018 with its quality control in order to prevent a repeat of the reliability issues that blighted the 2017 season, particularly towards the end of the year.
Between the works Renault Sport Formula 1 Team, and customer teams Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso, there were a total of 320 engine-related grid penalties in 2017, and with a reduction from four to three power units in 2018 and an increase from twenty to twenty-one races, the need for reliability will be so much greater this season.
Such was the problem that Brendon Hartley was handed grid penalties in all four of his race starts with Toro Rosso, while Renault estimated they lost forty-five points and fifth place in the Constructors’ Championship as a result of their own problems.
Abiteboul says Renault’s 2018 power unit will be similar to what they had in 2017, but the way they sign-off new part will be toughened up to prevent inadequate parts from reaching the cars.
“There is much more stability, in the sense the engine is much more similar next year to what it was last year versus the previous year,” said Abiteboul to Motorsport.com.
“We are changing only the parts that will make a difference to the performance, whereas last year pretty much everything – internal combustion engine and hybrid – was new.
“We’re also changing our internal procedure on sign-off, and making sure to be much more draconian in the way we are dealing with project milestones and sign-off of any new part.
“I’m very confident what we are doing on the dyno is very representative and will provide a product that is much more mature as soon as the winter tests [start].”