30 July 2011
Friday press conference - Hungarian GP - Pt.1
Team representatives: Eric Boullier (Renault), Graeme Lowdon (Marussia Virgin Racing), Jonathan Neale (McLaren), Adrian Newey (Red Bull), Rob White (Renault Sport F1)
Rob, about the engine rules. Just exactly what does that mean to you, the new engine rules for 2014.
I think the first thing to say is that we are pleased now to have a fairly clear view of where we are going and the most important thing about the 2014 rules is that there are enough people who now understand them and know what we are getting into so that we can go ahead and do the work to deliver these engines in a sort of timely fashion and get all the cars on the grid prepared to go racing for the first race The fact that we made a bit of an adjustment from four cylinders in-line to six cylinders is, on one hand, a pretty major change. On the other hand it's a relatively modest change. The fundamentals of the rules stay as we had in mind with a double limitation on fuel consumption with a fixed amount of fuel for the race, a fuel flow limit, a big contribution from energy recovery systems, electric only traction in the pit lane. We have got many of the same fundamental building blocks, albeit with a different engine architecture and a programme timing that I think suits more people better than the original programme timing.
Can you give us some sort of idea of what happens now from your point of view. How do you go about building those engines, designing them, what happens now? Has the programme already started?
The first thing to say perhaps is that we were well underway with the previous programme, so substantial amounts of work from that go straight in the bin. Not all of it, thankfully. We try to recover what we can and re-orientate it to the new programme. As ever we may need to structure the engineering programme counting backwards from the first race in order to arrive in the most competitive possible state. Important to recognise that this is a massive technological change for the engine people in F1. Clean sheet of paper, new engine, fundamentally very different to its predecessor, hasn't happened really since we made a switch in the opposite sense from turbo to normally aspirated engines way back at the end of the 1980s.
So the strategy from Renault's point of view: can you give some indication of that? Presumably you almost welcome this engine change as well, as you were a little frustrated with the V8?
I think one of the conditions necessary for Renault to remain present in F1 was that F1 should move on and the family of, I prefer to say power unit, rather than engine, towards which we are now headed is something that creates a much clearer resonance with the products and the processes that we use for the cars that we sell to our customers in, I think it is, 118 markets worldwide.
Graeme, quite a lot of announcements of late, particularly the McLaren tie-up. How is that coming along? Has it already started?
Yes, it has already started. We've known McLaren for a long time. We've worked with them in the past in Formula Three actually, with the Young Driver Programme, going right the way back to Lewis (Hamilton), so we know the people at McLaren really well and it's not been difficult at all to engage the project. It is quite a big project and it is one that obviously we are hoping will move the team forward in a short space of time so that project has already begun and it is going very well.
What about your own Formula One technology centre? Tell us about building that up?
Yes, Banbury is a site that we have been using for some time with our previous technical partner and so we are now building that facility up and obviously using some experience from both within the team and our partners to do that. We will still run the race team from Dinnington for the rest of this season. It is exciting times for the team. A lot of steps moving forward and these aren't things you just cannot make up overnight. They have been well thought through and well planned and there is a real air of excitement within the team. We have always had a very strong team spirit as I think most people know, but I think now we have got really a good technical direction and there was a vote of confidence from Timo Glock. He has committed to the team now for a long term and he has seen from inside the steps we are making so that was an important announcement for us as well that Timo is staying with us.
We have had some interesting news from the UK today about the TV deal that is going to happen. What is your initial reaction to that, as I know it is very early stages?
Tagged as: Renault Sport , marussia virgin , Graeme Lowdon , Rob White , Eric Boullier , Jonathan Neale , Friday , press conference , Adrian Newey , Renault , Red Bull Racing , Mclaren
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