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Renault confident enhanced procedures can cure reliability woes

Written by  Jan 11, 2018

Renault is confident an enhancing of their quality procedures will help avoid a repeat of the engine reliability problems which impacted all three teams using it during 2017.

The works team believes their own problems cost them fifth in the constructors' championship while Red Bull believe they could have challenged Ferrari for second without the eight retirements caused by power unit issues.

Toro Rosso would publicly fall out with the French manufacturer in Brazil, suggesting the plethora of failures late in the year could have been intentional as the two battled for sixth in the teams' standings with Renault clinching it at the final race.

This season, the pressure is even higher with Red Bull and now McLaren desperate to challenge for the championship but managing director Cyril Abiteboul is sure of a significant improvement.

"We're changing our internal procedure on sign-off and making sure to be much more draconian in the way we are dealing with project milestones and sign-off of any new part," he explained to Motorsport.com.

"I'm very confident what we are doing on the dyno is very representative and will provide a product that is much more mature as soon as the winter tests [start]."

Another reason for greater optimism is the engine spec for 2018 is only an evolution of that used last year, rather than the much bigger design overhaul which was introduced last year.

"We are changing only the parts that will make a difference to the performance, whereas last year pretty much everything – internal combustion engine and hybrid – was new," Abiteboul added.

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Ensuring optimum reliability is even more important this season with only three engines permitted before penalties with less strenuous parts restricted to only two.

Though making gains in power is also necessary, with a deficit still evident particularly in qualifying, the Renault boss claims it will be less of an issue given the much closer gap in race modes.

"The qualifying mode is the combination of tricks maybe like oil burn - which will become much more restricted - but also the fact that you are damaging the engine," he stated.

"I'm expecting most manufacturers to be much more conservative in the way they operate the engine, but we are also looking at our own ways to extract more performance on a limited number of laps."

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