Rémi Taffin, Renault Sport F1 head of track operations:
Monza represents the ultimate test for an engine’s outright performance and reliability. Over three quarters of the lap is spent at full throttle and the maximum speed goes over 320kph four times per lap. In fact the RS27 will be at full throttle for nearly 20secs in two sections of the track – twice as long as a drag car strip. It is only the grip generated from the wings stop the cars from lifting – a small plane would take off in the time and the speed reached down the pit straight.
The cars will also be at the highest average speed of the year; very close to the 240kph mark. Only three chicanes break the flow of the lap so drivers try to straightline them as much as possible, however this places its own demands on the engines as the drivers ride the kerbs, momentarily unloading the internals of the units. The phases of heavy braking and acceleration run huge loads through every part so we tend to use a new engine where possible.
Even though the engine is running at full throttle for three quarters of the lap, fuel consumption is actually one of the lowest of the year and the race starting fuel load is one of the lowest of the season. It is actually the most fuel efficient of the year as the engine is working at a largely consistent level and the car is running a highly efficient downforce package.
However this is really the only ‘easy’ thing about Monza for engines! It’s the race where you’ll see every engine engineer looking even more nervous than usual…