While its rivals have announced significant improvements to their powertrains, Mercedes and Ferrari are particularly in mind, while Renault has decided not to follow the same path, preferring to focus on 2021.
It should be noted that Honda, like the French engine manufacturer, has also indicated that it wants to focus on 2021, but has, on the other hand, announced several major changes to its powertrain this year.
Remi Taffin, the technical director for engines at Renault, confirmed in an interview that his department will work on this year’s powertrain in a minimalist way:
“This will be the last season for the engine family we launched two years ago.” says Taffin,
“Therefore, although the work we have done in 2019 will continue, there will be very few updates on our powertrain this year.
“We want to focus on developing the 2021 engine as a priority.”
That said, it seems that already the current crop of F1 cars are already well on the pace for breaking lap records, confirmed by Renault’s Esteban Ocon who felt that “We’re probably going to break all the records this year of lap times.”
Obviously, this is also the case for all teams as rarely does the field stay still each season, particularly when the rule set remains unchanged.
For Renault, they say the focus is 2021 and that 2020 will be a ‘learning year’ (again), Taffin saying that they expect to be testing 2021 specific engine components throughout the season.
“During the championship, we plan to test new components.” confirms Taffin,
“It will be necessary to proceed like this, as the best way to implement new solutions quickly is to test them on track.”
The hope must be that the team can remain more or less where they have been for the last season or two in terms of Championship position. But the threat for the team is that the parent company must be appeased and that the Renault F1 works team project must be making some progress.
Considering that in 2018, the French team finished 4th in the constructors’ championship so 2019 must be a disappointment and a backwards step for the team.
For team boss Cyril Abiteboul, the attitude remains bullish:
“It’s tough,” admits Abiteboul, “Formula 1 poses a challenge for all of us – together and individually. But I’m confident that we’ll be able to turn the situation around. And when it happens, it’ll be all the nicer.”
Watch: First real onboard of revised Zandvoort for DutchGP
Riding high on a wave of Max Verstappen popularity in Holland, constructors have more or less completed a £12.6 million overhaul of the outdated circuit with a view to making it stand out among the other 21 races on the F1 calendar in 2020.
When F1 and Liberty Media decided to put Zandvoort back on the calendar for the next three years many feared it could be a dull event with virtually no chance for cars to overtake. The answer to this problem along with safety revisions due to lack of run-off areas was to be banked corners.
Indeed director of F1 Ross Brawn admitted he was “worried”……. READ MORE ON THIS STORY