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. Saturday 28 March 2015

  2. Montagny suspended by FIA until end of 2016 16:36

    Montagny suspended by FIA until end of 2016

    Franck Montagny has been suspended by the FIA's Anti-Doping Committee until December 2016, after he tested positive for…

    Misc
  3. 14:34

    Latest F1 photos: Saturday at Sepang

    F1
  4. Ricciardo: Fourth a 'good result' for Red Bull 14:00

    Ricciardo: Fourth a 'good result' for Red Bull

    Daniel Ricciardo was pleased with Red Bull's performance during qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix after a difficult…

    F1
  5. Formula E unveils shortened Monaco layout 13:20

    Formula E unveils shortened Monaco layout

    Organisers of the Monaco ePrix have unveiled the layout for the race which will take place on May 9. The 12-turn 2.76km…

    FE
  6. Rosberg 'annoyed' by qualifying display 12:46

    Rosberg 'annoyed' by qualifying display

    Nico Rosberg has conceded that he "didn't drive well enough" during Saturday's rain-hit qualifying session for the Malaysian…

    F1
  7. Verstappen happy with first Q3 appearance 12:43

    Verstappen happy with first Q3 appearance

    Max Verstappen declared himself happy after he equalled father Jos' best Formula 1 qualifying performance by setting the sixth…

    F1
  8. Vettel reckons Sepang victory is possible 12:29

    Vettel reckons Sepang victory is possible

    Sebastian Vettel believes that he can fight for victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix, after securing a place on the front row of…

    F1
  9. Grosjean dropped two places for pit infringement 11:59

    Grosjean dropped two places for pit infringement

    Lotus driver Romain Grosjean has been handed a two-place grid penalty for a pit lane infringement during Saturday's qualifying…

    F1
  10. Both Manor Marussia drivers allowed to race 11:46

    Both Manor Marussia drivers allowed to race

    Manor Marussia's Roberto Merhi and Will Stevens have been granted permission to race in the Malaysian Grand Prix, despite…

    F1
  11. Hamilton relieved to make first lap count 11:41

    Hamilton relieved to make first lap count

    Lewis Hamilton spoke of his relief after his first timed lap in the top 10 shootout in Malaysia proved marginally fast enough…

    F1
  12. 10:38

    Malaysian Grand Prix: Qualifying results

    F1
  13. Hamilton grabs pole in rain-hit qualifying 10:37

    Hamilton grabs pole in rain-hit qualifying

    Lewis Hamilton took his second successive pole position during a rain-hit qualifying session for the Malaysian Grand Prix…

    F1
  14. Button hails 'massive step' with Honda engine 10:17

    Button hails 'massive step' with Honda engine

    Jenson Button says McLaren engine supplier Honda has taken a "massive step" in the right direction at the Malaysian Grand…

    F1
  15. 08:51

    Follow qualifying for the Malaysian GP!

    F1
  16. 07:11

    Malaysian Grand Prix: Full Practice 3 results

    F1
  17. Rosberg edges Hamilton in final practice 07:06

    Rosberg edges Hamilton in final practice

    Nico Rosberg edged Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton during Saturday afternoon's final practice session for the Malaysian Grand…

    F1
  18. 05:52

    Follow final practice for the Malaysian GP!

    F1
  19. Tost: Renault buyout would be 'fantastic' 05:22

    Tost: Renault buyout would be 'fantastic'

    Franz Tost says that the possibility of Formula 1 power unit supplier Renault purchasing Toro Rosso would represent a "fantastic…

    F1
  20. Video of the Day: Engine stress at Sepang 04:12

    Video of the Day: Engine stress at Sepang

    Lorenzo Sassi, Chief Designer of Ferrari's power unit, discusses the extra stress on engines at Sepang.

    F1
  21. Friday 27 March 2015

  22. 19:07

    Latest F1 photos: Friday at Sepang

    F1
  23. Márquez on top again in third practice 18:49

    Márquez on top again in third practice

    Marc Márquez made it a clean sweep so far in Qatar as he topped the third practice session for the first round of the campaign…

    MotoGP
  24. Armand steps up to FR3.5 with Pons 16:49

    Armand steps up to FR3.5 with Pons

    Philo Paz Armand will make his Formula Renault 3.5 debut at Pons Racing this year alongside the already confirmed Roberto…

    FR 3.5
  25. Palmer to make practice debut in China 15:58

    Palmer to make practice debut in China

    Reigning GP2 champion Jolyon Palmer will make his Grand Prix weekend debut for Lotus at the next round in China when he takes…

    F1
  26. Márquez quickest in second Qatar practice 15:53

    Márquez quickest in second Qatar practice

    Reigning World Champion Marc Márquez continued to set the pace during second practice for this weekend's MotoGP season opener…

    MotoGP
  27. Wilson joins Andretti for Indianapolis rounds 15:17

    Wilson joins Andretti for Indianapolis rounds

    Justin Wilson will race for Andretti Autosport at this year's Indianapolis 500 and at the preceding round of the championship on…

    Indy
  28. Fernley: Mid-season revival for Force India 13:30

    Fernley: Mid-season revival for Force India

    Force India Deputy Team Principal Robert Fernley says it won't be until the middle of the 2015 campaign that the squad begins to…

    F1
  29. Renault issues threat to quit Formula 1 12:05

    Renault issues threat to quit Formula 1

    Renault Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul says that the French company could quit Formula 1 – with Red Bull's Christian Horner…

    F1
  30. Vettel not happy with Friday performance 11:54

    Vettel not happy with Friday performance

    Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel says he was not happy with his own performance during Friday practice for this weekend's Malaysian…

    F1
  31. Alonso upbeat about McLaren progress 11:10

    Alonso upbeat about McLaren progress

    Fernando Alonso says he is pleased with the progress McLaren has made as he returned to action during Friday practice for the…

    F1
  32. Stevens pleased to be within 107 per cent 10:22

    Stevens pleased to be within 107 per cent

    Manor Marussia driver Will Stevens says he was pleased to be within the 107 per cent mark of the fastest time in both practice…

    F1
  33. Red Bull drivers note improvements 09:50

    Red Bull drivers note improvements

    Red Bull pair Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo expressed their optimism over improvements made to the RB11 following Friday's…

    F1
  34. Bottas confident over back injury 09:43

    Bottas confident over back injury

    Williams driver Valtteri Bottas says he is sure that he won't be bothered by the back pain which forced him out of the…

    F1
  35. Hamilton surprised by Ferrari practice pace 09:02

    Hamilton surprised by Ferrari practice pace

    Lewis Hamilton says he was surprised by the pace Ferrari displayed on the opening day of practice for the Malaysian Grand…

    F1
  36. 07:39

    Malaysian Grand Prix: Full Practice 2 results

    F1
  37. Hamilton moves ahead in second practice 07:34

    Hamilton moves ahead in second practice

    Lewis Hamilton recovered from his morning technical woes to set the standard during second practice for the Malaysian Grand…

    F1
  38. Williams given suspended fine over tyres 07:01

    Williams given suspended fine over tyres

    Williams has been given a suspended fine of €10,000 after a tyre breach in Malaysian Grand Prix practice. All drivers are…

    F1
  39. 05:54

    Follow second practice for the Malaysian GP!

    F1
  40. Marciello pleased with F1 practice debut 05:52

    Marciello pleased with F1 practice debut

    Sauber reserve driver Raffaele Marciello was in high spirits after making his Formula 1 practice debut at the Malaysian Grand…

    F1
  41. Hamilton's engine allocation unaffected 05:12

    Hamilton's engine allocation unaffected

    Mercedes has said that Lewis Hamilton's engine allocation will not be affected by the problem he suffered during first practice…

    F1
  42. Stoner to make racing return at Suzuka 8hr 04:50

    Stoner to make racing return at Suzuka 8hr

    Casey Stoner will come out of retirement to contest this year's Suzuka 8hr race with Honda. The two-time MotoGP World…

    MotoGP
more news