Red Bull supplier Renault admits there is a problem with their V6 turbo engine

30 January, 2014

Remi Taffin surrounded by media at the end of day two at Jerez

Remi Taffin surrounded by media at the end of day two at Jerez

Renault Energy F1, engine supplier to reigning World Champions Red Bull, has admitted it has kicked off Formula 1′s radical new V6 turbo era with a significant problem.

“Obviously we do [have a problem[," the French engine builder's Remi Taffin told reporters at Jerez on Wednesday.

World champion Sebastian Vettel had left the southern Spanish circuit with only a handful of laps under his belt with the title-defending RB10, while key Mercedes and Ferrari-powered rivals collected far more mileage.

"Annoying!" Red Bull's Helmut Marko told Bild newspaper.

"The problem is in the communication between the two KERS systems," he explained. "So, like in a computer if the hardware and software are not working with each other."

Adrian Newey with Paul Monaghan in the Red Bull pit garage

Also struggling are Renault’s other Formula 1 customers, including Toro Rosso, the Red Bull sister team whose new STR9 failed even to emerge from the pits on Wednesday. Caterham is the other affected Renault team.

“The[(Renault powered] cars sound like rattling lawn mowers,” said veteran Formula 1 correspondent Roger Benoit, in Blick newspaper. “Renault was even thinking about not coming here.”

Taffin, however, is confident that the problem can be fixed.

“We’ve got the parts, we have the people, we have the means to solve the problem,” he insisted. “We are confident that tomorrow [Thursday] morning at 9am, our customers will take to the track.

Sebastian Vettel only managed 11 laps over two days at Jerez in the new Red Bull RB10

Sebastian Vettel only managed 11 laps over two days at Jerez in the new Red Bull RB10

“This is high technology, which is why we have to be cautious. But I am happy with the solution we have found,” added Taffin.

Crucial track time already lost, however, Red Bull is now having to look ahead to the second test in Bahrain.

Team boss Christian Horner played down the impact.

“Our expectations coming into this test are purely system checks – the proper testing will be in Bahrain,” he is quoted by Formula 1′s official website.

Horner denied that Red Bull is already pushing for the Jerez test to be extended into Saturday, but there are also reports that Renault is paving the road for a delay of the FIA’s ‘Power Unit’ homologation deadline.

“We will be relying extremely heavily on our engine partner,” admitted Horner. (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

  • Krunksoft

    Finally, the equalizer Alonso fans crave so much!!

  • Boycottthebull

    And everyone mocked Lotus for not turning up, it appears it would have been a waste of their time with Renault engines if they had.

  • Red Horizon

    We will see many problems with turbo this year, as in the 80′s.
    I hope to see especially many grilled Renault turbo engines.

  • caoguowei

    Waste of time AND money if Lotus came, so it was a smart decision in hindsight

  • Hawk

    and yet the most expensive.

  • rex

    I really hope there is a changing of the guard this season with no heritage RBR midfield and heritage teams Ferrari, McLaren, Williams and Lotus at the front

  • rex

    yes yes yes yes yes

  • the fan

    if there’s one engine maker who can fix the issue it would be renault though in the long run no one knows how many issues they could have. with this year’s power dependent on KERS as well, its common knowledge that this has been an issue for RB the past couple of years already.

  • Famer

    Wipe that smile from your face, you anti – Red Bull and Sebastien Vettel fans. This is only testing but this year testing is crucial for the new powertrains. Renault and Red Bull is not getting the miles in.

  • WestMclarenMercedes

    @Rex. Well said mate. Hope the once midfielders are back to where they came from and the historical teams are back at the front. I dont blame Lotus at all for not coming to jerez. Smart move after all. Lets hope they finally unleash the v6 turbos at bahrain with full revs not an indycar 10,000rpm

  • dave IQ


    Could the Renault shambles be linked to Lotus, and their current claim (or holding out) to Renault as being co-developers of some energy systems, with these such systems (or proprietary Lotus tech) being unavailable for the Jerez test while Lotus and Renault sort out their differences?

  • Hugo

    Serves the FIA right for pushing these ridiculously expensive and compliacted engines on the teams, all while expecting them to cut costs.

    I hope this year’s champinship sucks so that the FIA can realize how stupid they are.

    Yes, I’m daydreaming. It’ll never happen.

  • BoycottThe Haters

    “Hope the once midfielders are back to where they came from and the historical teams are back at the front.”

    How very British of you. “What F1 needs is a class structure, with the royalty on top and the peasants at the bottom – FOREVER!”

  • Mopar212222

    Renault is in huge trouble, imagine the pressure they are under from Red Bull! They sound terrible when off-throttle, like it is missing. It is going to be a frantic couple of weeks before the next test.

    Williams made the moves of the year: Mercedes, Symonds & Staff and no more Maldo.

  • Taskmaster

    Kinda early to be digging a grave for Renault and Red Bull oh ye hand wringing haters. Let’s see what comes about from 2 months of development and recovery from this initial stumble (which they knew was an issue as the cars were in transport, BTW).

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