As we had wrote in our Bahrain race review, Red Bull Racing has blamed a component linked to the spark plug as the reason for Sebastian Vettel dropping off the pace. However, the trained eye of Ron Dennis seems to believe that it was a fuel issue that plagued Vettel’s chance at victory and that there may be a design flaw on the RB6. Interesting…
Dennis indicated that the McLaren ECU may have remapped fuel in a move to conserve for the rest of the race. This is a completely reasonable assessment. Dennis further believes that Vettel was running considerably quicker in the last laps of the race which would refute the spark plug claim. Questioning whether the RB6 had a big enough fuel tank or perhaps the engine was not as efficient as what was thought for fuel. These are all reasonable assessments by Ron and I have to say that the former team principal for McLaren usually knows what he is talking about. He would also know the ends and outs of the McLaren ECU that all teams have equipped on their 2010 challengers. Unfortunately, I think that it was in fact a spark plug issue that ended any chance of victory for Vettel.
My main reason for disagreeing with Ron is the Renault power plant. For whatever reason, the engine is unreliable when put into the Red Bull cars. One can use Valencia of last season to justify some concern with the relationship. The engine is not the sharpest sword on the block, but it does the job and the team still achieves race victories with it. I watched the Bahrain Grand Prix and was actually awake towards the end of the race when the event happened (mainly on expectation that the best racing would happen at the end). The car was slow and the engine sounded miserable at best. I instantly thought of a header issue at that point as the team did as well. I am led to believe that the car would not have sounded as rough had the ECU switched the mapping to a more conservative strategy. I also did not see where Vettel increased his lap time at all during the closing stages of the race. I think to be honest, the Renault power plant has shown early signs of being the same lemon (in terms of reliability) as last year. This is a problem that Red Bull need to come to grips with fast if they are to live up to their hype as a championship winning team.
3 Thoughts to “F1 – Renault Power to Blame…”
So now with Mosley gone Ron Dennis is making a come back mucking stuff up in the paddock?
Not sure…not saying Ron is wrong because he is a smart chap….but I just can’t see his point on this one…but then again I could be reading too far and he may just be speculating like the rest…but I think the Renault plant just does not like the RB5 or 6 for some reason…
If Ron’s speculation is right, it is completely opposite the general understanding that the Renault is the best in terms of fuel efficiency.
I agree with you though Shaun. The engine sounded off.
I was surprised by Ron’s assertion that maybe the ECU somehow took a look at the fuel consumption and dialed back the wick. I didn’t know the ECU could do that automatically, but Ron would know since his company designed it.
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