Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Renault Sport F1 USA Grand Prix Preview

USA Grand Prix
(Renault Sport F1)

Renault Sport F1 head to this weekend's United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin Texas following a somewhat disappointing race at the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi three weeks ago which saw the Renault powered Infiniti Red Bull Racing team score a seventh and eighth place finish respectively.

After a fantastic qualifying session for Daniil Kvyat which saw him start his home race from fifth place on the grid the Toro Rosso driver was left disappointed to finish the race in 14th place one lap down on race winner Lewis Hamilton.

This weekend sees Renault return to the circuit where last season the scored a 1,2,3 finish with Sebastian Vettel winning the race for the Infiniti Red Bull Racing with the Lotus F1 Team's Romain Grosjean finishing the race in second place while Mark Webber finished the race in third place in the second Red Bull.

Speaking ahead of the race which marks the first of a hectic period for Formula One, Renault Sport F1's Head of Track Operations Remi Taffin stated:

'The Circuit of the Americas has already established itself as a classic track, featuring exciting corners, high speed sections and tight, technical hairpins. It’s actually a very challenging circuit and will give every component of the Power Unit a good workout. The PU will operate in the mid to high range throughout sectors one and two, but the final sector will focus on energy recovery and stability under braking.

The start of the lap is one of the hardest sectors for the ICE and turbo. The pit straight will see the ICE work at close to its maximum rev limit, while the altitude change to the first corner strains the turbo as it rotates at a higher speed to generate the same amount of power at the top of the hill. 

After the first corner, the driver then negotiates the sweeping series of Esses through to turn eight. Like Suzuka and Silverstone’s Esses and Becketts complexes, the ICE will be working at close to its maximum capacity through this section. After all this, the long back straight then sees the cars flat out for over 1km, with speeds in excess of 320kph.

The third sector is a lot more stop-start, but the hairpins and tight corners will give the MGU-K a chance to recharge. At each corner, the driver will stamp on the brakes, putting large forces through the K and filling the battery once more.

Now we enter the final three races, reliability starts to become an overriding concern so having such a challenging circuit at this point in the year makes everyone a little nervous. 

Mileage on each part is high and putting each through its paces means we’ll have a very busy weekend to check everything over and safeguard against any issues. In most cases we have enough flexibility to play around, plus we also have the confidence of knowing our performance and how to fully exploit it.'

© Ben Johnston 2014

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