Since the opening race in Melbourne significant gains have been made in energy recovery and Power Unit efficiency, allowing drivers maximum power output for longer periods.
In fact Renault Sport F1 teams were approximately 5% more efficient in Abu Dhabi than they were at the start of the season, a significant improvement in a sport more used to the concept of marginal gains. This equates to a time gain of some half a second.
Speeds and performance were also enhanced. For example, at the Italian Grand Prix, lap times were consistent with those of 2013 despite using a third less fuel per lap. And while overtaking another car during the race, Daniel Ricciardo’s Infiniti Red Bull Racing-Renault reached 362.1kph, smashing the previous year’s top speed by an impressive 20kph. Sao Paulo’s qualifying session also witnessed some of the fastest lap times ever recorded there as a result of the Power Unit’s architecture being particularly well adapted to the circuit’s characteristics.
Huge improvements were similarly made in reliability. After a shaky start, the Renault Energy F1-2014 Power Unit covered more than 90,000 on-track kilometres over the course of the season between the four Renault Sport F1 teams: Infiniti Red Bull Racing, Lotus F1 Team, Scuderia Toro Rosso and Caterham F1 Team. This equates to an average of 11,250km per driver – or more than 37 race distances. In fact, Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat sits third in the list of total distance covered by an individual driver since the start of the 2014 season, while one single Power Unit has covered more than 4,300km.
Part 3 (final) – Tuesday, 16 December