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. Sunday 21 December 2014

  2. Horner: Ricciardo form aided Kvyat promotion 10:14

    Horner: Ricciardo form aided Kvyat promotion

    Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner says that Daniel Ricciardo's form in 2014 aided the squad's decision to promote...

    F1
  3. Grosjean takes podium in Andros Trophy 08:51

    Grosjean takes podium in Andros Trophy

    Romain Grosjean finished on the podium in his one-off outing in the ice-based Andros Trophy in France. Grosjean, who has...

    Misc
  4. Video of the Day: Williams on its 2014 season 05:02

    Video of the Day: Williams on its 2014 season

    Senior Williams figures, including drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, reflect on the 2014 season.

    F1
  5. Saturday 20 December 2014

  6. McLaren sure it understands test woes 09:17

    McLaren sure it understands test woes

    McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier says the squad understands the problems which affected the team during its first...

    F1
  7. Video of the Day: Ferrari F1 demo in Bologna 05:11

    Video of the Day: Ferrari F1 demo in Bologna

    Watch highlights of Giancarlo Fisichella's Ferrari Formula 1 demo at the recent Bologna Motor Show.

    F1
  8. Friday 19 December 2014

  9. BayernLB files law suit against Ecclestone 17:31

    BayernLB files law suit against Ecclestone

    German bank BayernLB has confirmed that it has filed a law suit against Bernie Ecclestone in relation to the sale of Formula...

    F1
  10. Ferrari confirms Vergne as test driver 16:40

    Ferrari confirms Vergne as test driver

    Ferrari has confirmed that former Toro Rosso racer Jean-Éric Vergne has joined the team as test driver and will focus on car...

    F1
  11. F1 2014: Biggest controversies of the season 16:17

    F1 2014: Biggest controversies of the season

    Formula 1 was full of talking points both on and off the track in 2014, with team-mate clashes and regulations being...

    F1
  12. Rossi expecting boost for America in 2016 14:19

    Rossi expecting boost for America in 2016

    Alexander Rossi believes that 2016 could turn out to be a positive year for America's involvement in Formula 1, when Gene...

    F1
  13. Campos replaces Hilmer in GP3 line-up 12:09

    Campos replaces Hilmer in GP3 line-up

    Adrian Campos' eponymous team will replace Hilmer Motorsport in GP3 next season. Campos, whose outfit returned to GP2 in...

    GP3
  14. Toro Rosso on upwards trajectory – Tost 09:42

    Toro Rosso on upwards trajectory – Tost

    Toro Rosso Team Principal Franz Tost believes that his squad is on an upwards curve after the outfit recovered from a...

    F1
  15. Nasr chooses 12 as race number 07:44

    Nasr chooses 12 as race number

    Felipe Nasr has confirmed that he will race with number 12 when he makes his Formula 1 debut with Sauber in 2015. Nasr,...

    F1
  16. Video of the Day: Mercedes duo design cars 05:04

    Video of the Day: Mercedes duo design cars

    Mercedes-Benz has celebrated winning both Formula 1 world titles with special models of the AMG SL 63, created by drivers...

    F1
  17. Thursday 18 December 2014

  18. 17:03

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  19. Ecclestone formally reappointed to F1 board 16:40

    Ecclestone formally reappointed to F1 board

    Bernie Ecclestone has been reappointed to the Formula 1 board and will continue as CEO of the Formula One Group, while Luca...

    F1
  20. New Sauber passes FIA crash tests 16:06

    New Sauber passes FIA crash tests

    Sauber has confirmed that its 2015 Formula 1 chassis, the C34, has passed the first stage of the FIA's mandatory crash...

    F1
  21. Horner: Newey will still attend some races 14:09

    Horner: Newey will still attend some races

    Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says Adrian Newey will still attend a selection of Formula 1 races next season, even...

    F1
  22. Tech 1 signs Aurélien Panis for 2015 season 10:36

    Tech 1 signs Aurélien Panis for 2015 season

    Aurélien Panis, son of ex-Formula 1 driver Olivier, will graduate to Formula Renault 3.5 with the Tech 1 Racing squad next...

    FR 3.5
  23. Lotus approached Alonso over 2015 seat 09:23

    Lotus approached Alonso over 2015 seat

    Lotus owner Gérard Lopez has revealed that the team gave Fernando Alonso "a real option" to consider for the 2015 Formula 1...

    F1
  24. Video of the Day: Ferrari's Christmas lunch 05:09

    Video of the Day: Ferrari's Christmas lunch

    Ferrari recently hosted staff and representatives at its annual Gestione Sportiva Christmas Lunch.

    F1
  25. Wednesday 17 December 2014

  26. Ferrari tyre chief to leave at end of year 15:45

    Ferrari tyre chief to leave at end of year

    Ferrari tyre performance chief Hirohide Hamashima will leave the team at the end of the year, as the Scuderia continues to...

    F1
  27. Video: Carlos Sainz's title-winning season 13:49

    Video: Carlos Sainz's title-winning season

    Relive Carlos Sainz Jr.'s journey to the 2014 Formula Renault 3.5 title. Next year, the Spaniard graduates to Formula 1 with...

    FR 3.5
  28. Watson takes on expanded Toro Rosso role 12:07

    Watson takes on expanded Toro Rosso role

    Newly-appointed Toro Rosso Team Manager Graham Watson will take on an expanded role following Sporting Director Steve...

    F1
  29. Wolff: Spa clash allowed Mercedes to clear air 09:56

    Wolff: Spa clash allowed Mercedes to clear air

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the clash between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton at the Belgian Grand Prix allowed him to...

    F1
  30. Video of the Day: Hamilton on his 'greatest year' 05:17

    Video of the Day: Hamilton on his 'greatest year'

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton reflects on "the greatest year of my life" after winning the 2014 Formula 1 world title and...

    F1
  31. Tuesday 16 December 2014

  32. Fry, Tombazis to leave Ferrari in reshuffle 18:48

    Fry, Tombazis to leave Ferrari in reshuffle

    Ferrari has announced that Pat Fry and Nikolas Tombazis are to leave the outfit as part of a major reshuffle under new team...

    F1
  33. Stolen Red Bull trophies recovered from lake 15:57

    Stolen Red Bull trophies recovered from lake

    A number of trophies stolen in a burglary at Red Bull's Formula 1 headquarters earlier this month have been recovered from a...

    F1
  34. Ferrari secures backing from América Móvil 15:37

    Ferrari secures backing from América Móvil

    Ferrari has secured a new sponsor in the form of Mexican telecommunications giant América Móvil. The company's arrival f...

    F1
  35. Di Montezemolo: Vettel the right choice for Ferrari 13:12

    Di Montezemolo: Vettel the right choice for Ferrari

    Former Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo says the team made "the right choice" by signing Sebastian Vettel as Fernando...

    F1
  36. Vergne 'very happy' with Formula E debut 12:36

    Vergne 'very happy' with Formula E debut

    Jean-Éric Vergne says he was "very happy" with his debut weekend in Formula E, despite losing a potential victory on the...

    FE
  37. Marussia F1 assets to be auctioned 09:31

    Marussia F1 assets to be auctioned

    The collapsed Marussia Formula 1 team's various assets will begin to be auctioned off by administrators on Tuesday, the...

    F1
  38. Video of the Day: Red Bull's 2014 season review 05:04

    Video of the Day: Red Bull's 2014 season review

    Red Bull Racing takes a look back at its 2014 Formula 1 campaign in the form of a Parallax video.

    F1
  39. Monday 15 December 2014

  40. Gutiérrez named Ferrari reserve driver 14:55

    Gutiérrez named Ferrari reserve driver

    Ferrari has signed Esteban Gutiérrez as its test and reserve driver for the 2015 campaign. Gutiérrez makes the switch a...

    F1
  41. Alguersuari says Formula 1 is 'a big GP2' 14:53

    Alguersuari says Formula 1 is 'a big GP2'

    Ex-Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari says Formula 1 is now less of a challenge for rookies, describing the top echelon as...

    F1
  42. Frijns officially parts ways with Caterham 11:47

    Frijns officially parts ways with Caterham

    Robin Frijns has officially split from the Caterham Formula 1 team, with his contract expiring on Monday. The Dutchman...

    F1
  43. Video: Race Of Champions highlights 11:02

    Video: Race Of Champions highlights

    Enjoy highlights of the 2014 Race Of Champions, won by ex-Formula 1 driver David Coulthard.

    Misc
  44. Nielsen joins Williams as Sporting Manager 09:11

    Nielsen joins Williams as Sporting Manager

    Williams has appointed Steve Nielsen to a new role of Sporting Manager with immediate effect. Nielsen's switch comes just...

    F1
  45. Button insists multi-year McLaren deal necessary 08:57

    Button insists multi-year McLaren deal necessary

    Jenson Button says that a multi-year deal with McLaren was necessary due to the nature of the squad's new project with...

    F1
  46. Video of the Day: McLaren unveils 2015 line-up 05:02

    Video of the Day: McLaren unveils 2015 line-up

    Go behind-the-scenes at McLaren's Technology Centre in Woking during last week's announcement of its 2015 driver line-up.

    F1
  47. Sunday 14 December 2014

  48. Hamilton wins BBC Sports Personality of the Year 22:28

    Hamilton wins BBC Sports Personality of the Year

    World Champion Lewis Hamilton has added to his post-season accolades by winning the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of...

    F1
more news