This season, only four Power Units are permitted per driver as opposed to five in 2014. With one less PU and one extra race, parts need to run over 1,000km more than last year - an increase of 33% ! That’s more than double the distance of a return trip from Paris to London.
During the inter-season break, the rate of progress has meant that the PU is over 5% more efficient across its engine speed range than at the last race of 2014. For the same amount of fuel it can provide more power. We are also able to harvest over 25% more power on the H than we were able to at the beginning of 2014. This makes the Renault Energy F1 amongst the most fuel efficient engines in the world.
In another change from last year, in 2015 there is no starting from the pitlane penalty for using an additional power unit. Instead, ten places will be added to a driver’s starting position for the first fifth new part used. If the penalty cannot be fully taken at that event, the remainder of the places will be converted into a time penalty applied at the end of the GP rather than carried forward to the next race.
In addition to trying to secure the F1 lap record in Sunday’s race, Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Daniil Kvyat will be attempting to set the Albert Park production car lap record. The Russian will be lapping the circuit on Thursday in a Renault Sport Megane R.S. 275 Trophy-R.
2015 will be the 30th F1 race to be held in Australia. Renault currently holds the most amount of victories (8) of all the engine manufacturers in this country.
Rémi Taffin, Director of Operations
We go to Melbourne in an optimistic frame of mind. We had very aggressive development and sensible performance targets for the winter and every solution explored so far has been track tested and validated. We have made significant changes to the control systems and hardware, particularly the turbo and ICE. This means that the reliability is improved and the driveability is getting better. We can still progress in this area and we’ve got enough flexibility to move forward with a solid plan of development. Equally we have some tokens in hand to give even more performance over the year.
At this point in time we don’t want to make any prognostics about where we are, but when you compare where we were at the last race of 2014 to this race in Australia, we’re better prepared. We don’t want to talk about wins or points, but obviously we’re hopeful of picking up where we left off and keeping that momentum going.
Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director
This year we can genuinely say we are looking forward to the Australian Grand Prix. Last year we went to Melbourne in a very different frame of mind, but in 2015 we are much happier in our own skin.
The changes we made over the winter are starting to take root and there is a more confident vibe at Viry.
We know that we are the challengers rather than the leaders, but we also know that we have achieved our own objectives over the winter testing. We set out to make the Power Unit more reliable, which we have done, with over 9,000km covered. We also wanted to improve performance and halve the gap to Mercedes. While it’s more difficult to judge this, our track performance validates our dyno simulations and confirms we are on the right track. We’ve still got a long way to go, but the season is equally long and we’ve still got items up our sleeves to further improve in 2015.