Renault is implementing a rigorous quality control mechanism on its 2018 F1 engine parts to get rid of the unreliability issues the company faced in the previous season.
Renault powered cars faced a total of 320 penalty points in the last season. Red Bull boss Christian Horner believes the French company’s reliability was at its worst since 2006. Toro Rosso went one step ahead and publicly criticised the manufacturer for its unreliable engine.
The company’s works team believes it lost over 45 race points and the fifth place in the constructors’ championship due to its engine trouble.
But the French outfit’s boss Cyril Abiteboul believes that continuing the previous year’s engine architecture into 2018 along with a “much more draconian” quality watch when accepting new parts would be enough to resolve the reliability problem.
Abiteboul said: “There is much more stability, in the sense, the engine is much more similar next year to what it was last year versus the previous year,”
“We are changing only the parts that will make a difference to the performance, whereas last year pretty much everything – internal combustion engine and hybrid – was new.
“We’re also changing our internal procedure on sign-off and making sure to be much more draconian in the way we are dealing with project milestones and sign-off of any new part.
“I’m very confident what we are doing on the dyno is very representative and will provide a product that is much more mature as soon as the winter tests [start].”
According to Abiteboul, Renault did an “in-depth review” of the Engine department and found that making procedural changes would be enough to improve reliability.
Red Bull has been repeatedly asking for a ‘magic mode’ in the engine to help them perform better in the qualifying races. The French Engine maker confirmed that they are working on in for 2018.
Abiteboul believes that Nico Hulkenberg’s performance at the Abu Dhabi GP, where he effectively nullified a five-second penalty proved that Renault is closing the gap with Ferrari and Mercedes engines.
The new three engine limit will also help in enforcing reliability over qualifying mode for all the teams, he added.
“The pace in Abu Dhabi has shown we are much better in trying to assess the best compromise between performance and reliability,” Abiteboul added.
“There is more to come for next year – even though we know also the regulations will make it more difficult to have purely qualifying modes.
“You will need to have only three engines per driver next season, so that’s something also to take into account because the qualifying mode is the combination between tricks maybe like oil burn – which will become much more restricted – but also the fact that you are damaging the engine.
“I’m expecting most manufacturers to be much more conservative in the way they operate the engine, but we are also looking at our own ways to extract more performance on a limited number of laps.”