Renault reliability issues rooted in engine changes – Abiteboul

Renault’s Cyril Abiteboul believes that the manufacturer’s ambitious development program is the cause of its latest reliability woes.

In a bid to bridge the gap this year with front-runners Ferrari and Mercedes, Renault implemented substantial changes to its engine before the season got underway, revamping several components of its power unit.

But reliability troubles have often dogged the performances of both its works team and Red Bull racing and Toro Rosso, with Max Verstappen on the receiving end of Renault’s weakness more often than he cares to remember.

In an honest assessment of its problems, Abiteboul now believes the manufacturer bit off more than it could chew with its ambitious development program.

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“I cannot look professional if I tell you that these were expected problems, because we don’t design a new engine expecting that it is not going to work,” Abiteboul told Motorsport.com.

“The reality, and that is still a frustrating thing, is that we are still not great at designing first time.

“Having said that, we have done an awful lot on the engine side – the ICE architecture is completely different, the ERS is completely different.

“We can challenge the decision to do that much in one winter, and frankly, I think we have done a bit too much.”

With regard to its works outfit, Abiteboul also admitted that all has not always goen accroding to plan on the chassis side of its affairs. 

“On the chassis side, we have also had a couple of reliability issues,” said the French manager.

“The last one being Jo’s installation lap in Silverstone, which was absolutely unrelated to the engine. It was a power assist system, and that is a big frustration.

“Again I am putting that down to the fact that it is a team that is young. We have had a lot of turnover in the mechanics, a lot of turnover at the factory.

“People are getting experience and, for me, lack of quality is lack of experience.”

But after the rough may come the smooth for Renault in 2018 when it will build on its trials and errors. 

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“It is nearly behind us, it is not behind us yet, but it is a year of consolidation also on the engine side.

“There will be much more stability next year, and we will be able to focus on extracting more performance from the different components that we have introduced, and hopefully in a much more reliable manner.”

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