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. Wednesday 28 June 2017

  2. FIA to 'further examine' Vettel/Hamilton clash 17:49

    FIA to 'further examine' Vettel/Hamilton clash

    F1's governing body, the FIA, will "further examine" the incident between Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton at the Azerbaijan…

    F1
  3. Dovizioso 'won't change' after taking lead 16:12

    Dovizioso 'won't change' after taking lead

    Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso insists he will not change his approach to racing at this weekend's German Grand Prix, after moving…

    MotoGP
  4. 14:22

    Follow us on Instagram for the best photos!

    F1
  5. Video: Go behind-the-scenes at DS Virgin 13:58

    Video: Go behind-the-scenes at DS Virgin

    Go behind-the-scenes at a Formula E event with DS Virgin, featuring Sam Bird and José María López.

    FE
  6. Lynn replaces Lopez at Virgin for New York 12:30

    Lynn replaces Lopez at Virgin for New York

    Alex Lynn has been confirmed as José María López's replacement at DS Virgin Racing for the upcoming Formula E double-header…

    FE
  7. Celis Jr. to get FP1 runs in Austria, Hungary 12:11

    Celis Jr. to get FP1 runs in Austria, Hungary

    Force India reserve driver Alfonso Celis Jr. will make further practice outings with the team at the Austrian and Hungarian…

    F1
  8. Kallio confirmed for Sachsenring round 11:59

    Kallio confirmed for Sachsenring round

    KTM test rider Mika Kallio will join regular racers Pol Espargaró and Bradley Smith at this weekend's German Grand Prix after…

    MotoGP
  9. Marko: Red Bull can win on merit in 2017 11:57

    Marko: Red Bull can win on merit in 2017

    Helmut Marko reckons Red Bull will have opportunities to win races on pure speed in 2017, in the wake of recent chassis and…

    F1
  10. Video: Professor B on IndyCar seat technology 10:47

    Video: Professor B on IndyCar seat technology

    Jon Beekhuis (otherwise known as Professor B) runs through driver seat technology in IndyCar.

    Indy
  11. MotoGP extends Sachsenring practice time 09:57

    MotoGP extends Sachsenring practice time

    MotoGP has added 10 minutes of extra running to both of Friday's practice sessions for the German Grand Prix, due to the…

    MotoGP
  12. Ricciardo sure Verstappen will bounce back 09:02

    Ricciardo sure Verstappen will bounce back

    Daniel Ricciardo is sure Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen will bounce back from misfortune, after the Dutch youngster was…

    F1
  13. In photos: Story of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix 07:48

    In photos: Story of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix

    Daniel Ricciardo profited from drama to take his and Red Bull's first win of the season, after Sebastian Vettel and Lewis…

    F1
  14. Video of the Day: Ricciardo's flight home 05:42

    Video of the Day: Ricciardo's flight home

    Daniel Ricciardo and Red Bull chiefs celebrate on the flight home after victory in Azerbaijan.

    F1
  15. Tuesday 27 June 2017

  16. Pirelli reveals Austrian GP tyre selections 16:49

    Pirelli reveals Austrian GP tyre selections

    F1 tyre supplier Pirelli has revealed drivers' selections for the Austrian Grand Prix. Pirelli will bring its Ultra Soft…

    F1
  17. Stroll says early criticism was 'just noise' 16:42

    Stroll says early criticism was 'just noise'

    Williams rookie Lance Stroll says criticism he received during the opening stages of the campaign was "just noise", after he…

    F1
  18. Leclerc 'caught back' lost Monaco points 15:16

    Leclerc 'caught back' lost Monaco points

    Ferrari protégé Charles Leclerc believes the outcome of Formula 2's weekend in Baku enabled him to recapture the points he…

    F2
  19. CoW public funding guarantees refused 13:39

    CoW public funding guarantees refused

    A major blow has been dealt to the Circuit of Wales project after the Welsh Government turned down a request for more than £200…

    MotoGP
  20. Wolff: Azerbaijan confirmed Mercedes pace 12:36

    Wolff: Azerbaijan confirmed Mercedes pace

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes the team can take solace from the pace of the W08 at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, despite…

    F1
  21. Honda to bring 'Spec 3' PU to Austrian GP 11:24

    Honda to bring 'Spec 3' PU to Austrian GP

    Honda chief Yusuke Hasegawa has confirmed that its 'Spec 3' power unit will be introduced at the Austrian Grand Prix, following…

    F1
  22. Analysis: Should stewards have parked Vettel? 10:12

    Analysis: Should stewards have parked Vettel?

    Sebastian Vettel's dark side came out once more during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, as he reacted angrily to a suspected brake…

    F1
  23. Silverstone gets four-day track schedule 09:29

    Silverstone gets four-day track schedule

    Silverstone has published a new schedule for this year's British Grand Prix, with track action to take place from Thursday…

    Misc
  24. Viñales 'can't explain' Dutch GP accident 09:02

    Viñales 'can't explain' Dutch GP accident

    Maverick Viñales admitted he was at a loss to explain his spectacular exit from the Dutch Grand Prix, as he relinquished the…

    MotoGP
  25. Palmer, Renault rue dismal Baku weekend 07:08

    Palmer, Renault rue dismal Baku weekend

    Renault was left to rue a troubled weekend at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after leaving as the only team not to score a point in…

    F1
  26. Video of the Day: Road America highlights 05:28

    Video of the Day: Road America highlights

    Watch race highlights from the Kohler Grand Prix at Road America as Scott Dixon overhauls the Penske quartet to capture his…

    Indy
  27. Monday 26 June 2017

  28. Azerbaijan Grand Prix: Winners and Losers 16:52

    Azerbaijan Grand Prix: Winners and Losers

    Daniel Ricciardo claimed victory while Lewis Hamilton had headrest issues and Sebastian Vettel simply lost his head.…

    F1
  29. Petrucci was 'very close' to first victory 16:02

    Petrucci was 'very close' to first victory

    Pramac's Danilo Petrucci said a maiden MotoGP victory was "very close" as he narrowly missed out to Valentino Rossi at the Dutch…

    MotoGP
  30. Massa feels double podium within reach 15:16

    Massa feels double podium within reach

    Felipe Massa feels a double podium finish was within reach for Williams at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, as he retired while…

    F1
  31. Vandoorne: Impossible to pass Saubers 14:04

    Vandoorne: Impossible to pass Saubers

    McLaren-Honda's Stoffel Vandoorne says it was "impossible" to pass Sauber pair Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein in Azerbaijan…

    F1
  32. Sainz Jr. calls first-lap spin a 'sacrifice' 12:46

    Sainz Jr. calls first-lap spin a 'sacrifice'

    Carlos Sainz Jr. labelled his first-lap spin at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix as a "sacrifice" as he rotated his STR12 in order to…

    F1
  33. Ricciardo: Vettel must 'put a lid' on emotions 12:07

    Ricciardo: Vettel must 'put a lid' on emotions

    Azerbaijan Grand Prix victor Daniel Ricciardo reckons former team-mate Sebastian Vettel needs to "put a lid" on his emotions…

    F1
  34. Ericsson allowed Wehrlein through for point 11:28

    Ericsson allowed Wehrlein through for point

    Marcus Ericsson has revealed that he accepted a team order from Sauber to allow Pascal Wehrlein through during the closing…

    F1
  35. Rossi: MotoGP title race 'unbelievable' 10:46

    Rossi: MotoGP title race 'unbelievable'

    Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi has labelled the MotoGP title battle as "unbelievable", after he ended his year-long drought with…

    MotoGP
  36. Magnussen: Seventh in Azerbaijan 'perfect' 10:14

    Magnussen: Seventh in Azerbaijan 'perfect'

    Kevin Magnussen hailed a "perfect" result for Haas as he escaped the drama which befell others at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix to…

    F1
  37. Orudzhev, Fittipaldi share Aragón wins 09:34

    Orudzhev, Fittipaldi share Aragón wins

    Egor Orudzhev secured his first win of the season before Pietro Fittipaldi re-claimed the championship lead during Formula V8…

    World Series
  38. Räikkönen perplexed by Bottas' approach 08:36

    Räikkönen perplexed by Bottas' approach

    Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen says he "doesn't know" what Mercedes rival Valtteri Bottas was doing as the pair collided on the…

    F1
  39. Video of the Day: Ecclestone, Briatore on F1 05:36

    Video of the Day: Ecclestone, Briatore on F1

    Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore take part in a fan Q&A session at the Baku City Circuit.

    F1
  40. 03:32

    Championship standings after Azerbaijan

    F1
  41. Sunday 25 June 2017

  42. 22:02

    Latest Formula 1 photos: Sunday in Baku

    F1
  43. Stewards: Hamilton drove 'correctly' at restart 21:59

    Stewards: Hamilton drove 'correctly' at restart

    Stewards at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix have determined that Lewis Hamilton did not brake test Sebastian Vettel prior to the…

    F1
  44. King excluded for tyre pressure infringement 21:21

    King excluded for tyre pressure infringement

    MP Motorsport driver Jordan King has been excluded from the results of the Formula 2 Sprint Race in Baku. King classified in…

    F2
more news