Interview with Renault's Rob White

Interview with Renault's Rob White

3 March 2014 – Rob White reflects on the third and final 2014 F1 pre-season test in Bahrain and concedes Renault still has a lot of work to do ahead of the opening race in Australia...


How was the second Bahrain test from a Renault perspective?
The aim of the last test session before Australia was to recover some of the lost ground from the previous test sessions and to rehearse the Grand Prix. We wanted each of our four teams to be able to approach a normal race weekend without having to improvise any of the procedures or operations needed. We can’t escape the fact that we did not complete the entire programme with all the teams and that some Melbourne preparations are incomplete. On the up-side, we have done some of everything, with simulations of qualifying sessions, starts, race distances and long stints and it is fair to say that once again we have made some real progress.

We have cured or found workarounds for some of the problems we had previously identified. New problems revealed as we ran more have added to the unsolved items, and have disrupted running, which is disappointing for our teams.

Have there been any major issues this time round?
In terms of down-time, we see that minor incidents can veer off into major ones and cause significant downtime. This is an example of the immaturity of our PU; we do not have all of the fail-safe and limp-home modes we would consider normal in this stage. This contributes to the loss of track time when a small issue does occur. As we go forward we expect to be able to take these things in our stride rather than have a major failure as a result of minor problem.

When running, this immaturity makes itself known as shortcomings in torque delivery or ‘drivability’, which make it tricky for the drivers to find the performance limit of the car.

And what have been the key learnings over the testing period?
We have started to converge on a configuration of car that is more like when we have run the engine back on the dynos in Viry. We’ve increased the level of performance at which the PU can be operated, and we’ve made strides in terms of how energy is managed round the circuit. Additionally we have made some headway on troubleshooting our control systems.

What is the plan now pre Melbourne?
Between now and Melbourne we have a number of items to cover. We need to consolidate all of the lessons learned across all the teams. We need to review all the accumulated data and compare and contrast to get the best out of it so the starting point for all of the Renault-powered cars is as good as it can be. Second, we must progress further on the torque delivery of the PU felt by the drivers. This will include software and calibration work, with simulator and dyno and validation. Thirdly there is the logistical challenge of getting the race Power Units built and shipped to Australia. That process is well under way and will be finished next week.

Has the Renault Energy F1-2014 Power Unit undergone the necessary homologation process?
Yes, the relevant documents and a reference Power Unit have been submitted to the FIA within the deadlines in the Sporting Rules.

What are your hopes for Melbourne?
Melbourne will be an anxious weekend! Conducting a normal race weekend, in which both cars run well during each session for every team, would be a great relief. I hope we can support our teams and drivers to explore the performance of the car and allow the race to deliver its sporting verdict.

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Monday 20 February 2017

  2. Hamilton: 'Zero problems' at Mercedes 10:30

    Hamilton: 'Zero problems' at Mercedes

    Lewis Hamilton has moved to clarify comments he made about data-sharing in Formula 1, insisting that he has "zero problems" with…

    F1
  3. Sauber presents new Formula 1 car 09:34

    Sauber presents new Formula 1 car

    Sauber has formally presented its 2017 Formula 1 challenger, the Ferrari-powered C36, in an online launch, to kick-start a busy…

    F1
  4. Wolff, Lauda extend deals through 2020 09:10

    Wolff, Lauda extend deals through 2020

    Mercedes has announced that Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda have signed new contracts which will keep them with the World Champion…

    F1
  5. Di Resta to stay as Williams reserve driver 09:07

    Di Resta to stay as Williams reserve driver

    Paul di Resta will remain as Williams' reserve driver for the 2017 season. Di Resta, 30, joined Williams in a reserve role in…

    F1
  6. Ferrari youngsters join Prema in Formula 4 09:00

    Ferrari youngsters join Prema in Formula 4

    Ferrari Driver Academy members Enzo Fittipaldi and Marcus Armstrong will join Prema in Formula 4 in 2017, for their first…

    Misc
  7. Grosjean keen to utilise Pirelli wet running 07:56

    Grosjean keen to utilise Pirelli wet running

    Haas driver Romain Grosjean says gathering data from Pirelli's wet tyres during pre-season testing will be crucial, due to the…

    F1
  8. Video of the Day: Stroll on 2017 hopes 05:37

    Video of the Day: Stroll on 2017 hopes

    Canadian teenager Lance Stroll discusses his hopes for his rookie Formula 1 season with Williams.

    F1
  9. Sunday 19 February 2017

  10. Magnussen to get first taste of VF-17 15:35

    Magnussen to get first taste of VF-17

    Haas has confirmed its driver line-up for the pair of pre-season tests at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with new recruit…

    F1
  11. Hamilton: New Mercedes 'looks like a boat' 14:44

    Hamilton: New Mercedes 'looks like a boat'

    Lewis Hamilton says that Mercedes' new Formula 1 challenger, the W08 Hybrid, "looks like a boat" due to the new regulations…

    F1
  12. 13:44

    Formula E standings after Buenos Aires

    FE
  13. Buemi relieved to overcome brake complaint 13:42

    Buemi relieved to overcome brake complaint

    Reigning Formula E champion Sébastien Buemi expressed his relief at overcoming a brake issue with his second car as he…

    FE
  14. Video: Buenos Aires ePrix highlights 12:14

    Video: Buenos Aires ePrix highlights

    Watch race highlights from the Buenos Aires ePrix, the third round of the 2016/17 Formula E championship.

    FE
  15. Hellmund: Brazil result led to Manor demise 11:25

    Hellmund: Brazil result led to Manor demise

    US-based Tavo Hellmund says that Manor falling out of the top 10 in the championship standings late last season ended his and…

    F1
  16. King confident of GP2 championship fight 10:14

    King confident of GP2 championship fight

    British racer Jordan King is confident that he can challenge for the GP2 championship in 2017 after committing to a third season…

    GP2
  17. Video of the Day: Bottas on racing Hamilton 05:38

    Video of the Day: Bottas on racing Hamilton

    Valtteri Bottas talks about linking up with Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes and his hopes for the 2017 season.

    F1
  18. Saturday 18 February 2017

  19. 20:00

    Latest Formula E photos: Buenos Aires ePrix

    FE
  20. Buemi cruises to third straight FE victory 19:59

    Buemi cruises to third straight FE victory

    Renault e.dams driver Sébastien Buemi extended his lead in the Formula E championship to 29 points by maintaining his unbeaten…

    FE
  21. Brawn wary F1 changes will take time 15:12

    Brawn wary F1 changes will take time

    Ross Brawn says any changes Formula 1 implements in the future will "have to tick some boxes", though has warned that such…

    F1
  22. Video: Toyota Racing Series highlights 13:03

    Video: Toyota Racing Series highlights

    Watch highlights of the recent New Zealand-based Toyota Racing Series, won by Thomas Randle.

    Toyota
  23. Combined times: Phillip Island MotoGP test 11:22

    Combined times: Phillip Island MotoGP test

    MotoGP gathered at Phillip Island, the picturesque home of the Australian Grand Prix, for its second three-day group pre-season…

    MotoGP
  24. Overview: Biggest F1 stories of the winter 09:32

    Overview: Biggest F1 stories of the winter

    Away from team factories, Formula 1's winter period is usually a calm affair. But the 2016/17 off-season was packed with big…

    F1
  25. Video of the Day: F1 2017 aero explained 05:44

    Video of the Day: F1 2017 aero explained

    Get the lowdown on F1's major aerodynamic changes for 2017 in this Mercedes technical feature.

    F1
  26. Friday 17 February 2017

  27. 19:32

    New: Follow GPUpdate on Instagram!

    F1
  28. Hamilton sees city races as future for F1 19:18

    Hamilton sees city races as future for F1

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton believes new Formula 1 owner Liberty Media needs to concentrate its efforts on city-based events…

    F1
  29. Lorenzo focused on feeling, not times 16:08

    Lorenzo focused on feeling, not times

    Jorge Lorenzo says that establishing a comfortable feeling with Ducati's Desmosedici GP17 is of more importance to him than fast…

    MotoGP
  30. Video: López tours Buenos Aires in FE car 14:02

    Video: López tours Buenos Aires in FE car

    DS Virgin's José María López drives around the streets of Buenos Aires, ahead of Saturday's ePrix.

    FE
  31. Rossi 'not very happy' after second test 12:01

    Rossi 'not very happy' after second test

    Valentino Rossi declared himself "not very happy" at the end of MotoGP's Phillip Island test, after lapping significantly slower…

    MotoGP
  32. Honda 'getting closer' with electronics 11:19

    Honda 'getting closer' with electronics

    Marc Márquez says that Honda is "getting closer" to achieving the optimal level with its electronics package, after the second…

    MotoGP
  33. Wehrlein to miss first pre-season test 09:42

    Wehrlein to miss first pre-season test

    Sauber driver Pascal Wehrlein has confirmed that he will miss the first of two pre-season tests at the Circuit de…

    F1
  34. Video: Williams showcases new FW40 09:26

    Video: Williams showcases new FW40

    Williams provides a first look at its 2017 challenger, the FW40, with this short rendered video.

    F1
  35. Williams reveals first images of 2017 car 08:10

    Williams reveals first images of 2017 car

    Williams has become the first Formula 1 team to reveal images of its 2017 challenger, the FW40, named in recognition of the…

    F1
  36. 07:54

    Latest MotoGP photos: Phillip Island - Day 3

    MotoGP
  37. Viñales ends Phillip Island test on top 07:48

    Viñales ends Phillip Island test on top

    Yamaha's Maverick Viñales remained at the top of the timesheets on the final day of MotoGP's second pre-season test at Phillip…

    MotoGP
  38. Register for GPUpdate Manager 2017! 07:36

    Register for GPUpdate Manager 2017!

    Have you ever dreamed of owning a Formula 1 team with your ideal driver pairing and engine? GPUpdate.net readers can now sign up…

    F1
  39. Video of the Day: Bottas at Mercedes HQ 05:31

    Video of the Day: Bottas at Mercedes HQ

    Earlier this week, new signing Valtteri Bottas visited Mercedes' headquarters in Stuttgart for the first time.

    F1
  40. Thursday 16 February 2017

  41. KV Racing confirms exit from IndyCar 19:15

    KV Racing confirms exit from IndyCar

    KV Racing Technology co-owners Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser have confirmed that the IndyCar outfit has closed, ending its…

    Indy
  42. Smith admits to being 'too conservative' 17:01

    Smith admits to being 'too conservative'

    KTM's Bradley Smith has admitted that he is riding "too conservatively" after finishing at the bottom of the times on the first…

    MotoGP
  43. Video: Newgarden answers fan questions 16:04

    Video: Newgarden answers fan questions

    Penske driver Josef Newgarden answers questions sent in by fans via IndyCar's social media.

    Indy
  44. Williams appoints de Beer as aero chief 15:15

    Williams appoints de Beer as aero chief

    Williams has announced the signing of Dirk de Beer as its new Head of Aerodynamics. De Beer started his F1 career as an…

    F1
  45. Haas another to launch on February 26 14:36

    Haas another to launch on February 26

    Haas will launch its new F1 car, the VF17, on February 26, along with Red Bull and Toro Rosso. Haas entered Formula 1 in…

    F1
more news