Renault has introduced a new qualifying mode for its 2018 F1 engine in Austrian GP, which was originally planned for Monza, while additional power will be available to Renault factory team and both McLaren and Red Bull.
Mercedes and Ferrari have so far prevailed in the qualifying modes of the engine that offer short-term power boost, which are used in qualifying, at the start of the race, for overtaking, for quick laps around pitstops.
After Canada and France, where all four manufacturers introduced new engine specifications, Renault decided to bring their ‘party mode’ earlier than planned.
“Now we have a qualifying engine mode,” Cyril Abiteboul confirmed for Auto Motor und Sport.
“This applies both to us and to our customers.”
“We managed to find some performance in the qualifying, but now the jump is significant.”
Now the Renault, McLaren, and Red Bull drivers should have 10 to 15 bhp more when they push the button on their steering wheels in Q2 and Q3 after the new engine mode has undergone an intensive five-day test on the dynamometer.
“It’s no secret how to get more power from the engine,” said Renault’s chief engine man Remi Raffin.
“You just have to use more aggressive settings, but the engine is damaged in this way. It’s always a compromise between reliability and performance.”
For the third engine specification, which should be introduced in Monza, Abiteboul promises even more power.
New MGU-K is lighter, more compact and durable
Renault finally brings the new MGU-K in Austria after relying on the Magneti Marelli unit due to the reliability problems, and the new MGU-K is lighter, more compact and more reliable than the old one.
Abiteboul stressed that the jump in power in the qualifying mode has nothing to do with the new MGU-K.
“The qualifying mode has no connection with the MGU-K, it’s all about the internal combustion engine.”
“Next year, we want to catch Ferrari and Mercedes completely, and the gap should be significantly reduced this year, and in the race is already very close now, and now we have to catch them in qualifying too.”