Renault eyes Mercedes ‘trick’ turbo

The French car manufacturer fired up the first version of its 2015 power unit on its dyno facilities at Viry-Chatillon last week amid its push to make up for a difficult current F1 campaign.

While the architecture of its internal combustion engine is unlikely to have a radical overhaul – although improvements have been made – Renault has confirmed it will evaluate the split turbo idea pioneered by Mercedes.

One of the factors that is believed to have boosted Mercedes' form this year is a design in which its air compressor and turbine are on separate ends of the engine.

It is said to help reduce turbo lag for improved efficiency, as well as assist with the car's aerodynamic packaging.

Although Renault has previously played down the impact of the concept – insisting it is not a game-changer for the current engines – the idea is being considered for 2015.

Renault's head of track operations Remi Taffin said it would be wrong of his engineers to not investigate it if the concept can bring a benefit.

"For sure we are looking at a different solution," he said when asked about going down the split turbo concept. "We will explore all the solutions.

"If I knew [the answer now] it would be wrong, because I should not know now what we are doing. It's being developed."

Taffin has made it clear, however, that there will not be a radical overhaul of Renault's engine, although a lot of parts may be new.

"It's not very different," he said. "The basis is quite similar but we can change a lot of things.

"When we discussed the V8s in the past, we used to say the last engine was very similar to the one from six or seven years ago. But 90 per cent of the parts were different – although if you looked at them they were quite similar.

"It will be the same for us going into next year. You will see some difference for sure, but there are no dramatic changes for 2015."

Leave a Reply