Renault confident most issues are fixed

By on Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

Renault believes that the majority of problems that affected its customer teams at the Australian Grand Prix have been fixed.

Renault suffered a difficult time in Australia as Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel retired due to a power problem, while both Lotus and Caterham drivers retired due to mechanical issues.

But head of track operations Remi Taffin insists that Renault has made progress ahead of this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, although he remains wary that Sepang presents a challenge to the power units.

"After a difficult race in Australia we are really looking forward to Malaysia," he said. "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.

"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 100,000rpm for over 10secs."

Taffin also explained that fuel consumption will present a challenge to the teams this weekend.

"The straights, which are over 1km each, will however provide plenty of opportunity for the MGU-H to be recharged," he said.

"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.

"The weather conditions will still play a role in engine management strategies. The high air temperatures could be a concern as we have to choose the correct cooling level, while the high chance of rain could make the cars difficult to control due to the increased torque and lack of grip. The focus will therefore be on good driveability and controlling the charged air temperature."

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