Renault working overtime during summer break.

Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor Fortis

Whilst the Formula One community are currently enjoying the mid-season break, work will however continue within the Renault Sport F1 engine division.

Having endured a poor start to the new V6 Hybrid power unit formula during the 2014 test, with their supplied teams (Red Bull and Toro Rosso) doing the least mileage of all at preseason testing, it was feared that they would struggle to finish races during the season. However, Renault along with Red Bull were able to recover during the season, winning three races helping the Milton Keynes team to a second place finish in the constructor’s championship.

Renault had hoped for a better start to their 2015 campaign with both Red Bull and Toro Rosso, but has so far seen their power units suffer a raft of unreliability issues. Currently all four drivers using the Renault power unit have been penalised for using a sixth unit. This has lead to a very public “falling out” between the French engine manufacturer and the former quadruple world champions Red Bull with the latter constantly threatining to leave the sport if they cannot be competative.

However despite their current difficulties, there has been some signs of improvement and at the recent Hungarian Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo qualified on the second row of the grid in fourth and three Renault powered cars finished in the top four on race day.

Remi Taffin, Renault Sport F1 Director of Operations, aims to address this problem and has revealed that the French manufacturer will spare no effort in closing the gap to the front running Mercedes and Ferrari powered cars. To help them achieve their ambition they have additional staff working right throughout the summer break.

Renault Sport F1 isn’t a team so we are exempt from the shutdown if we choose. The calendar this year has been very hectic so trackside personnel and a number of design staff will use the break for a holiday, but Renault Sport F1 will still be officially open. Around 35% of the workforce will come to work on a daily basis.

We alternate holidays between staff so performance work is ongoing. We have a number of important upgrades coming for the second part of the year so it’s important to keep that running to the benefit of our partner teams and their performance later in the season.

We’ve carried the momentum forward and the result in Hungary shows we are on the right trend now. Even though it seems like a holiday period for everyone, we’ll still be pushing hard.

This will be music to the hears of Red Bull’s Christian Horner and Helmut Marko as they have been the more vocal and critical of the two supplied teams. It has been well documented that they have continually questioned if the French outfit was doing enough to rectify their current issues.

But one has to ask, why now? Why was this not done at the end of the 2014 season?

With the rumours of an impending purchase of the Lotus F1 team, could this extra effort be in preparation for Renault becoming a works team again?

22 responses to “Renault working overtime during summer break.

  1. Will the Red Bully staff who’ve also been working on the Renault engines continue to work during the summer break??

  2. I really haven’t got much interest in Renault until they ditch Red Bull. After that, all change.

    • Sure. After all, they’re dancing to their own tune, have been all season 2015, so what’s it matter?
      Apart from that, in the real world, anyone who believes in the shut down bul$h, needs their head examined.
      There’s no oversight in place, FIA left the throne long ago…..

  3. Red Bull has been carrying Renault for the last 8yrs. No other Renault powered team came close to a WCC. Red Bull’s software team is the only reason Renault engines are even remotely competitive. Red Bull were also instrumental in developing the blown diffuser engine maps which ensured their domination during that era.

    Renault also had a still born ERS system during those years and Red Bull created their own knowing the risks. This system was often faulty (especially on Webbers) however it still provided them with the competitive edge they needed to secure 4 WCC’s in a row. People often claim that Renault got the short end of the stick when it came to recognition of success for those 4 WCC’s but really, once you know how much they DIDNT do it’s hard to say that they were anything but lucky to be teamed up with an competent, competitive outfit such as Red Bull.

    • It’s interesting you claim Red Bull were responsible for the engine maps because most people seem to believe that it was something done by the Renault guys, made possible by the traits of the Renault engine and the engine freeze. It’s for this reason that Lotus were also really competitive in 2012 and 2013 as they also ran Renault engines. Newey once claimed the reason why RB moved away from Ferrari engines is that he believes the Renault engine allowed for aerodynamic performance from the exhaust, so….

      Whilst the Renault engine lacked some horsepower, it’s worth remembering that there are only 2 power circuits on the calendar now – downforce and low speed drivability/traction are far more important. The Renault engine was the most fuel efficient and had the best drivability – it’s no surprise Renault wanted a bit more credit for the success of RB.

      That said, they’ve messed up the V6T era

      • From what I understand you’re correct in asserting that Renault designed an engine that was capable of the engine mapping that was demonstrated in those years. However, it was Red Bulls software team that refined the mapping to the extent they did and it was also this team that was able to jump in and save the day last year in testing to get the 2014 unit to basically work at all (and is still continuing to carry Renault’s pathetic software team this year as well)

        Renault created a beautiful canvas with their late spec V8 engine, however it was Red Bull that painted the masterpiece.

    • I see that’s from GMM, which Joe Saward poo-poos as an accumulator. I know nothing about Motorionline, too; could be just silly-season filler. Does seem to play both sides, so I’m going with silly-season filler.

  4. This is a nothing PR statement, stating the bleedin obvious, and issued only to ensure the company name stays in the media at a time when f1 goes quiet…
    Of course they keep working during the shutdown… everyone does

  5. hmm, they are exempt from the shutdown and ‘around 35%’ of the workforce will come to work on a daily basis.

    oh yeah, they’re really throwing the kitchen sink at it.

    • 35% isn’t even enough to lift the kitchen sink, much less throw it. 😉
      Those were my thoughts too. If it were such an effort, vacations would be cancelled and people would be putting in extra hours.
      Clearly reducing your workforce by two-thirds dose not send a message of this being a priority.

    • I had that exact thought on reading it.

      That and “Ah, 35% is a special effort,” (brief pause) “no wonder Merc and Ferrari are so far ahead”.

      Being slightly less flippant, it might be meant to be read that the 35% are working 7 days per week, but it didn’t translate too well.

      • More to the point is which 35% are coming in to do the work? In certain situations, with the right personnel, could see more getting done with fewer folks around.

    • 35% is reasonable when you start breaking down the different areas. Production staff required? Nope, no engines are needed until spa. Design area needed? Minimal, as they will respond to engine failures which won’t happen until at least spa. So it’s really only the staff carrying out the engine evaluation who are required to be there. There’s also a natural drop in support staff (admin, catering, security, cleaners and so on) when there are fewer people working.

  6. If they can’t keep tabs and curtail people working inside an engine factory, how will any sort of budget cap ever work?

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