Renault: F1 will not lose speed with V6 engines
22 January 2014 – Formula 1 will not become a significantly slower sport with the introduction of turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 power units. This is the view of Rob White, the Deputy Managing Director of Renault Sport F1.
Although leading paddock figures have suggested that lap times could raise significantly as a result of the sport's technical overhaul, White says there is no reason to be overly concerned about on-track performance.
When asked if Formula 1 will retain its speed, White said: "The short answer is yes. What was an academic question in the beginning has become a lot more real from every point of view, but we have no need to worry.
"Obviously we are still in the virtual world and not on-track but we have measured PU performance on the test bed and have matched the most optimistic predictions. We believe that the Power Unit will deliver a lot of power and will be more than enough to make cars quick. The way that the cars will deliver this performance will be somewhat different this year due to the PU and aero regulations.
"The driving experience will be quite different, but we will absolutely see real speed out on track."
With increased emphasis on the management of power units and their recovery systems, plus factors such as the 100kg fuel limit per driver, per race, White expects the 2014 campaign to yield unpredictable results.
"This year there will be a lot of factors that drive unpredictable outcomes and from most people's standpoint, unpredictable results are good in a sporting event," added White.
"We need to keep hold of some of the fundamental elements; there will be 22 cars on the grid and when the lights go out the guy that gets to the flag first is the winner. In between there will be a battle for positions on track, meaning there will be real racing.
"The way in which the races are managed by the teams is one of the big differences between 2013 and 2014. It is fair to say there are several different ways to skin a cat and this will produce different scenarios as we explore different possibilities about how to manage energy and power.
"Although the tool kit that we have is different, the fundamentals of the races remain very similar. Ultimately it is for the drivers to go for the opportunities presented to them."