Renault optimistic over winter engine gains

  • 28 Jan 2019 10:11
  • comments 3
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Renault is optimistic over the gains it has made in the engine department ahead of the 2019 season. The French manufacturer has struggled in the hybrid era, failing to produce an engine capable of matching Mercedes, and in recent years, Ferrari.

Its relationship with Red Bull completely faltered in 2018 after years of tension between the two. Red Bull opted to ditch Renault at the end of the season, and instead take on Honda engines after its sister team Toro Rosso ran with them last year.

In 2019, it will supply just two teams (its works team and McLaren), but insists that it has made some positive improvements as it looks to hold off the threat from Honda and close in on the leading manufacturers.

"We’re very optimistic on the engine side,” said executive director Marcin Budkowski to Crash.net. “But the engine is like the chassis side - it’s never finished until you close the engine that goes to the first race. 

“It is very promising in terms of performance but we still have to cross the t’s and dot the i’s in terms of reliability and durability etc, which we are doing now in Viry-Chatillon. 

“We are still doing work on the engines that will start the year, and in the end, performance and reliability is a trade-off. You can extract more performance from any engine but it might not last the number of races, the number of sessions you want it to.  So we will have to see where that cursor stops in terms of performance versus reliability. But we are optimistic.” 

After finishing the 2018 season in fourth place, Budkowski added that Renault will be keeping a close eye on what happens between Red Bull and Honda, and will be ready to pounce should the partnership go wrong.

"Definitely any kind of shake-up is an opportunity,” he said. “It’s a threat as well. We are making progress on our engine development.  I’m sure Honda, Mercedes and Ferrari are all making progress as well. In relative terms, we’ll see where they end up.” 

Replies (3)

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  • Funny innit? How both Renault and Honda kinda seem optimistic, while Ferrari remain quiet and Mercedes, as usual, shout and weep about their definitely-timely doom.

    • + 0
    • Jan 28 2019 - 10:41
  • Ferrari is the elephant in the room. They have been a bit too quiet, wonder what they up to? Either they battling to improve or have found something interesting. Either way their silence is disconcerting.

    • + 0
    • Jan 28 2019 - 13:12
  • boudy

    Posts: 1,045

    Indeed Ferrari and Mercedes are quiet, to noise from Honda is limited to some comments but not much really. Whereas Renault seems to be making the same noise that they make every year. You never know with Renault if they are able to bring something competitive to track.

    Ferrari has been changing their management around the F1 project and you bet they are going to be competitive.

    .... can't wait for next year...

    • + 0
    • Jan 28 2019 - 19:33

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