The 2017 Renault F1 engine gained one second compared to the same period last year, although they initially expected almost much less gains with their new concept.
Renault changed the concept of its power unit for 2017 as the previous concept had no sufficient potential, but problems with reliability have been hurting them since the first test in Barcelona.
The new, 7 kg lighter MGU-K was not reliable enough so the team had to use the old specification while MGU-H was the weakest point in the new power unit and triggered most failures.
Although they expected to find three tenths in the winter and three more during the season, Renault nearly doubled the planned gains, even though they paid for it with less reliability, which was well documentated by Red Bull and Toro Rosso.
“This goal we set ourselves, but in fact we have found different ways to get more performance during the season,” said Cyril Abiteboul for Autosport.
“The engine itself, from the end of last season to the end of this season, has improved for more than one second per lap when we use its full potential, which we cannot use for a long time.”
“There was impact on reliability, which is a great disadvantage this season, but what we have achieved in terms of performance is something we have never dreamed of.”
“This is far more than we thought we could achieve.”
Mercedes revealed that they almost achieved 1000 HP with their power unit which means Renault is somewhere around 950 HP with maximum settings.
The fourth fastest car in the second part of the season
Renault set their goal at fifth place at the start of the season but eventually lost to the Force India and Williams, mostly thanks to poor reliability and average start of the season.
“As far as chassis is concerned, I think it is very clear that we have a very good chassis from Silverstone [where they brought a significantly improved aerodynamic package],” Abiteboul said.
“Having the fourth fastest car is something we can be proud of if you look at last season or where we started this.”
“The team continues to grow with quality and quantity so this was a positive year.”
Renault has jumped Toro Rosso in the last race of the season and took the sixth place in the constructors’ championship.