Renault expects to have an engine that is about as powerful as that of Mercedes and Ferrari in the coming Formula 1 season. The French racing team claims to have a small lead over the engine of Red Bull, the team of Max Verstappen.
"We are engaged in an exciting battle with Ferrari and Mercedes in terms of the engine," said Rémi Taffin, who is the technical director at Renault, talking to Auto, Motor & Sport .
"The differences with Mercedes and Ferrari are no greater than 5 or 10 kilowatts," says Taffin. "Mercedes is a little behind and Ferrari has a little more than us. Honda has maybe 15 or 20 kilowatts less than Renault, they are really one step behind."
Last year, the engines of the top teams in Formula 1 delivered around 730 to 750 kilowatts, representing 980 to 1,000 horsepower.
Red Bull said goodbye to Renault at the start of 2019 after twelve years of cooperation and has been using Honda engines ever since. With the Japanese power source, Verstappen won three Grands Prix last year and captured the first two pole positions in his career.
In addition to Renault, McLaren is also powered by the French company, but the British racing team is switching to a Mercedes engine after this year.
"Half of Renault's resources go to 2021"
With a fifth place in the World Cup stand for constructors, Renault had a disappointing season last year. Taffin is nevertheless satisfied with the technical development of the engine. "We were able to make a leap forward that would normally take you three years."
"There will be no major changes to the engine this year," said the Frenchman. "We have to integrate the engine into the car as well as possible."
"But I tell no secret when I say that 50 percent of our resources are already focused on 2021 this year," said Taffin. Next year there will be major changes to the rules in Formula 1, which means that the gap between the three top teams and the other racing stables will have to be reduced considerably.
Renault is presenting its car for the new season on 12 February. Daniel Ricciardo and newcomer Esteban Ocon form the drivers duo.
The first of six test days will be on the Barcelona circuit on February 19. The first race in Melbourne is scheduled for March 15.
Reveals new cars Formula 1
- 11 February: Ferrari
- 12 February: Renault
- February 13: McLaren
- February 14: Mercedes and AlphaTauri
- 17 February: Racing Point
- Not yet known: Red Bull, Alfa Romeo, Haas, Williams