The ING Renault F1 team will benefit from a major $50 million technology investment programme at its Enstone base which the Renault Group hopes will reinforce its commitment to participation in the top flight.

The long-term programme, which comes with full support of the parent group, will include investment in a brand-new computational fluid dynamics [CFD] facility, which will provide the team with ten times its current capacity in the area and create an industry benchmark that will stand among the top 100 global computing facilities.

"This programme of technology investment in the team sends a strong signal about our commitment to a competitive future in F1," team principal Flavio Briatore commented, "Each investment will be carefully and efficiently managed in line with the sport's future regulations, to derive maximum benefit for the team, our partners and the wider group."

Renault sees improved simulation in CFD as being of direct benefit to the automotive industry as a whole, and Formula One has already made a significant contribution to the development of the technology. The new facility will enable the development of cutting-edge techniques that Renault hopes will benefit the design of more efficient road vehicles and powertrains in the future.

"While other teams have invested in costly second wind tunnels, we believe that CFD is a technology of the future that will be integral to the design and development of more efficient vehicles," technical director Bob Bell explained, "This new centre will allow us to push the existing technological boundaries, and to develop new techniques and skills that will have applications far beyond the race tracks of the future."

All new construction work will meet stringent targets for environmental responsibility, in line with the entire Enstone facility. The new CFD Centre will be sited below ground level to minimise its impact on the Sites of Special Scientific Interest that form part of the site and will be powered by renewable energy. Environmental priorities are an ongoing development path for the team, reflected in the fact that the Enstone facility achieved the Kyoto Agreement's 2012 target of a 12.5 per cent reduction in emissions by 2005.



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