Renault expect more problems at Sepang

Wednesday 26-March-2014 10:57

Renault believe they have the majority of the issues of with their power units, but admitted that more problems might surface at the week's Malaysian Grand Prix.

The French engine manufacturer had to deal with numerous issues during pre-season and at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix earlier this month.

Although reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel's early retirement was the most high-profile failure, both Caterham and Lotus cars also retired early in the race. In fact, only three Renault-powered cars reached the finish line in Melbourne and one of them - Daniel Ricciardo - was subsequently disqualified.

Nevertheless, Renault head of track operations Remi Taffin believes the company is in a far better position to deal with similar problems in Malaysia this week.

"After a difficult race in Australia we are really looking forward to Malaysia," Taffin is quoted by ESPN as saying.

"We had several issues across the cars in Melbourne but we have recreated the problems in the dyno at Viry. Most are fixed and the remaining will be under control by Friday in Sepang. While we anticipate further issues may occur we are much more able to react quickly to minimize their impact."

Taffin was quick to add that Sepang is notoriously hard on engines due to the constantly changing conditions and that more problems will likely surface this weekend.

"Sepang is one of the circuits whose technical requirements will change under the new regulations. In the V8 era the circuit sat towards the middle of the table for the challenge it posed for engines but now it will be one of the toughest races of the year," Taffin continued.

"Of the six main components of the Power Unit [PU], the internal combustion engine will be under the most pressure in Malaysia. The humidity in Sepang made it a little bit easier on normally aspirated engines since power comes down as the water content in the air increases. This means we were generally able to offset the impact of the two long straights.

"This year we won't have this luxury. With a turbo engine the air intake is controlled at all times regardless of ambient conditions so those long straights will really start to hurt. As a result Sepang will become a lot less forgiving as twice a lap the PUs will be flat out, with the turbo revving at close to 100,000rpm for over 10secs."

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