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Renault Sport F1, the engine supplier of Lotus (formely a fully-fledged works team), Reigning World Champions Red Bull, Williams and Caterham, argue that its 2012 powerplants will hold a fuel and driveability advantage over the rest of the field.
With the act of re-fuelling being banned from 2010, a battle has been taking place to balance fuel usage and on-track performance. During the past two years the fine line between too much and not enough fuel has been difficult to decifer, but Renault says the teams it provides can race with a lower fuel load than its closest rivals.
"The Mercedes engine is about 15 horsepower more powerful than ours," Jean François Caubet, Director of Renault F1 Sport, told Spain's AS. "The Ferrari also offers more power, but in terms of driveability and fuel economy the Renault engine is in front."
When discussing race advantage, Caubet explained that Renault-powered cars can line-up on the grid with 15 to 18 litres (approximately 20-24km) less fuel than its rivals.
"Red Bull can start races with 15 to 18 litres less petrol in the tank compared to the competition,'' he added of the crucial weight saving. "That makes the difference."
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