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Renault reveals they tried “too much” with 2017 engine



Renault Sport managing director Cyril Abiteboul has admitted that the French team tried too much with the design of their new 2017 F1 engine over the winter following the reliability issues.

Renault hit reliability issues throughout the course of this year, which also led to Renault reverting back to its 2016 MGU-K, Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul has confessed that its ambitions were perhaps too big.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has already experienced a few of those while Renault’s own driver Jolyon Palmer has also had issues.

“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

“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.

“When you start having some difficulty with reliability, you start to do some mix and match in the garage”, said Abiteboul. “You take an MGU-H from one engine, you take a turbo from another engine, you take an MGU-K from another engine and then you start to make a monster!

“That also multiplies the operation and that has been very difficult for the engine guys, who also with all the operations we have done, happen to make some finger mistakes. This has made the situation even worse. So that is a vicious circle that is very strong and powerful.”

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

However, it is not just the engine that has caused Renault a few problems.

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

“There will be much more stability next year”, claimed Abiteboul.

“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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