(Renault Sport F1)
Renault Sport F1 head to the Singapore Grand Prix this weekend as the defending race winner as they powered Infiniti Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel to victory last season. Following a difficult start to the 2014 season, Renault have got on top of their power unit and are the only manufacturer other then Mercedes to have won Grand Prix this season.
The French company powered Infiniti Red Bull Racing's Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel to fifth and sixth place finishes last time out at the Italian Grand Prix at the Monza circuit.
The circuit lay-out at Marina Bay is an extremely challenging one with very little room for error and has extra spice as it is held at night however, due to the number of floodlights around the track and the fact that the sport stays on European time it is almost as if the race is held during the day.
The Singapore circuit is likely to put extra pressure on the MGU-K and the power unit battery supply. Speaking ahead of this weekend's race, Renault Sport F1's Head of Track Operations Remi Taffin commented:
'Singapore stands in stark contrast to the high speed tracks we have just visited. It has 23 corners, the highest number of any track on the calendar, with several hard braking points over the lap. These factors combine to bring the average speed down to around 170kph, with just 45% of the lap spent at wide open throttle.
The ICE and turbo are therefore given an easy time here. The Energy Store and MGU-K, however, are really put through their paces. Each braking event is long and hard, particularly around the ‘hotel’ section through the grandstands, where the K will be able to recover enough energy to keep the battery at a relatively high level of charge throughout the lap. In contrast, the MGU-H is used a little less as the short straights between the corners do not really offer ample time for the exhaust to develop a steady flow.
These short bursts of power naturally require good torque response and driveability but they also bring fuel consumption well up. In fact we will use the largest amount of fuel per lap over the season here and we will be right on the limit of the 100kg permitted. To put this in context, last year we used 150kg of fuel – over 30% more. Here, more than anywhere else, shows the advances we have made in efficiency.
Singapore should suit the Renault Energy F1-2014 far more than the previous two tracks. We’ve made good progress in energy recovery and management and these two elements are key to success here. We know the competition will still have an edge, but we expect to be closer here than we were at Monza. Getting a good position in qualifying, which should be possible, will set the tone for the race so the focus will be to maximize the one-lap pace and start as far forward as possible.'
© Ben Johnston 2014