Renault is ready to Rock?
Renault Sport insists that it has got to the bottom of the problems suffered in Australia.
Although three of its cars made the points, the other five Renault powered cars failed to see the flag, albeit for a variety of reasons.
“After a difficult race in Australia we are really looking forward to Malaysia,” said head of track operations Remi Taffin. “We had several issues across the cars in Melbourne but we have recreated the problems in the dyno at Viry. Most are fixed and the remaining will be under control by Friday in Sepang. While we anticipate further issues may occur we are much more able to react quickly to minimize their impact.”
Intriguingly, Taffin pointed out that Sepang will be one of the toughest races of the year for the V6 part of the new power unit (PU).
“Sepang is one of the circuits whose technical requirements will change under the new regulations. In the V8 era the circuit sat towards the middle of the table for the challenge it posed for engines, but now it will be one of the toughest races of the year.
“Of the six main components of the PU, the internal combustion engine will be under the most pressure in Malaysia. The humidity in Sepang made it a little bit easier on normally aspirated engines, since power comes down as the water content in the air increases. This means we were generally able to offset the impact of the two long straights.
“This year we won’t have this luxury. With a turbo engine the air intake is controlled at all times regardless of ambient conditions so those long straights will really start to hurt. As a result Sepang will become a lot less forgiving as twice a lap the PUs will be flat out, with the turbo revving at close to 100,000 rpm for over 10 secs.”
He also pinpointed the role of energy recovery in Malaysia: “The straights, which are over one kilometer each, will however provide plenty of opportunity for the MGU-H to be recharged. The tight corners such as the T15 hairpin, the first corner complex and the mid to low speed corners in the third sector will allow the MGU-K to recover energy under braking. With relatively high fuel consumption due to the short bursts of acceleration between turns, getting maximum energy from these opportunities will be incredibly important.”
They knew this would happen:
The sound of the 2014 F1 power units has been a subject of debate since the Australian GP, and a negative reaction from fans has hardly come as a surprise. Melbourne F1 boss Ron Walker was quick to join the debate, complaining that he didn’t get the show that he’d signed up for.
In fact, as long as seven years ago the FIA was made aware that engine noise could be an issue once the sport switched to turbo power.In June 2007 the FIA produced a document called “Formula One 2011: Power-Train Regulation Framework,” subtitled “A Briefing Note for the Formula One Manufacturers’ Advisory Committee Meeting, June 2007.”
Commissioned by Max Mosley and prepared by FIA advisors Tony Purnell and Peter Wright, it provided the guidelines that ultimately led to new regulations, albeit three years later than was originally anticipated.
Although there would be many other documents, much (but not all) of the above report eventually translated into the 2014 rules pushed through by Mosley’s successor Jean Todt.
Purnell and Wright were well aware that the fans had to be taken into account, writing: “The main constraint will be to avoid damage to the emotional attraction of Formula One for its fan base. In particular the technical awe of Formula One and its sheer speed must be retained.”
Regarding the noise of what was then intended a 2.2-liter V6, they wrote (with my emphasis added): “The noise of high rpm is to be replaced, by what we don’t know, but it will be quieter. The view is that the risk of this new noise being unappealing is a risk worth taking. Quieter cars are 100% in line with environment demands. The unique and sophisticated power-trains are certain to make a dramatic, if very different noise of their own.”
It will be fascinating to see if the FIA formally investigate the possibility of ramping up the sound for 2015, possibly by mandating a new exhaust design.