After rumours emerged in the Italian press about RBR's alternator, Renault Sport have now confirmed to F1Technical that Red Bull Racing is indeed using a McLaren Electronic System alternator in combination with the Renault engine. The firm notes this is the case "for some time now", with all other Renault powered teams still using the Magnetti Marelli alternators, similar to last year.
Renault's technical director, Rob White, says this is the result of the problems during 2012: "We suffered unacceptable recurrent reliability issues with alternators fitted to the RS27-2012 engine that we supply to all our teams. At Renault, we take full responsibility for the design and integration of the engine and ancillary equipment supplied to our teams, including the alternator. We worked with the support of our teams and suppliers to develop countermeasures to eradicate last year’s problems. The work was underway before the end of the 2012 season. It was completed during the winter and validation was signed off in pre-season testing. These solutions have been implemented on alternators for all of our teams and we continue to monitor the situation closely."
While having two different alternator options now fitted on the RS27-2013, Renault also pointed out that the options to pick are still in Renault's hands, and that two alternatives are now available due to differing electrical requirements on different cars.
"The alternator generates electrical power to match the electrical consumption of the car and to maintain the charge of the battery. For chassis reasons, the electrical power requirement may vary between different types of car. In parallel to addressing the reliability issues experienced in 2012, and having consulted all our teams, we have increased the electrical power capacity of our alternators. To manage the technical and logistic risks, we have worked with two suppliers for the electro-magnetic components to provide alternator parts to our specifications. Responsibility for alternator supply to the teams and supplier choice for all components and assembly operations remains with Renault."
The options appeared to have paid off, as no issue was found on any car so far this year.