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Renault Worried About Downforce, Petrov Looking For Updates

Tarish Bhatt
633   //    02 Jul 2011, 20:19 IST

Renault Technical Director James Allison believes his team will be much affected by the off throttle ban

The Lotus Renault team is worried because of the off throttle ban which was imposed by FIA from the British GP. According to Renault technical director James Allison, the team will lose huge amount of downforce and will be most affected by the ban. However, Renault’s Russian driver Vitaly Petrov believes that the team’s performance will not be compromised much by the ban.

Renault technical director Allison said that the team is set to lose around 0.4s per lap according to an estimate and that the team has already tested the engine maps in the Valencia practice sessions and pretty much know its impact on the performance. Allison also said that it would be foolish from their side if they have not tested the performance earlier. However, the Renault technical director believes that they are not the only team who will be affected by the ban, other teams will be affected too.

Allison is worried about the ban but the Russian driver Vitaly Petrov believes  said that the team will not be affected by the ban too much and it needs some big updates in order to score some strong points in the upcoming races.

Petrov said that it is still unknown how the ban will affect his team and the others on the grid and that he is hoping that the others should be affected much because of the ban not him.

I hope it will still be a strong car because you never know how it will affect you or how it will affect other people. I hope other people will be more affected than us because otherwise we won’t be so quick. So we’re trying to work to be able to do something.

Renault started the season strongly with two podium finishes in the first two races of the season but as the season progressed, the form of the team has over turned. In a few races, they were outpaced by  rivals Force India and Sauber. Petrov feels that the other teams might have improved their cars more than the Renault and that his team is working very hard to improve its pace.

At the beginning of the season we were really quite strong but then I think we lost some performance, maybe some other teams were improving better than us. But we’re working on this; we know exactly where we lose time so we’ll locate it for the next event so at the next race we should have a few big updates and we’ll try and fight with them.

The ban on the off throttle diffuser has raised serious concerns for the Renault team. Even Red Bull Racing technical director Adrian Newey has said that the Renault will be most affected by the ban because Red Bull Racing has an innovative front exiting exhaust system.

Allison said that he don’t know how the front exiting exhaust system will help the Red Bull Team but admitted that his team will certainly loss the downforce.

It will be how much downforce you’ll lose and how much it affects the balance of your car. I can’t say how much downforce we’ll lose compared to other people; I know how much we’ll lose, I know that it won’t affect the balance of our car so that’s sort of good but maybe we’ll lose more downforce than other people. It will shake out in Silverstone and let’s hope we’re not too screwed up by it!

However, Allison added that the Renault team will continue their development work in the season even though the change in the rule is at their top preference and that the impact of the off throttle ban will not increase workload as  teams are used to this type of ban even though he doesn’t support bans in the middle of the season.

It’s been going on a while. There have been many clarifications of existing rules which have resulted in things that were OK at the start of the year having been on the car for quite a long time suddenly being not OK. We just have to roll with the punches, there’s no conspiracy behind it it’s just the way the sport operates.
Tarish Bhatt
A complete sports buff, you name the sport and I am there! A Formula 1 fanatic and big fan of Narain Karthikeyan, Adrian Sutil, Somdev Devvarman and Hugh Jackman!
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