https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/alpi ... /10550229/
Motorsport.com first reported that the topic of engine equalisation had been put before the F1 Commission after an FIA analysis of the performance levels of the currently frozen specification of power units indicated that Alpine’s Renault engine is approximately 15-25Kw (20-33hp) down on its closely matched rivals – Ferrari, Mercedes and Honda.
Alpine is understood to have decided that since it had become clear the team did not have the full support from its rivals, despite what had previously been arranged under the good faith understanding, it was better to direct any resources it would have been spent on improving the output of its current engine instead on work to the new engine rules.
That doesn't make any sense. How does that show an ambition for Alpine-Renault to win the 2024 or 2025 WDC and WCC?
The new 2022 power unit was supposed to bring Renault to equal best or clear best power unit status. Yet it didn't happen - initially it was OK on power but unreliable and now it's reliable but down on power. At no point did it appear to have an advantage of 15-25kW over all lesser rival power units either.
the 2026 Renault unit is still
not the best in field by a clear margin? What if it fails just like the 2022 power unit?!
Surely there are too many times that Alpine-Renault have placed their bets on a future development, like the new 2022 power unit and chassis that were meant to bring Alpine a huge step and into WDC and WCC contention (having delayed investment in 2020 & 2021 power unit or chassis for this purpose), instead of maximising short term performance?
Not bothering to upgrade the 2024 & 2025 power unit within reliability clauses seems grossly unwise IMO. If the unit is 25Kw down now, how kilowatts will it be down by the 2025 season as the others continue to push reliability provisions (& ERS freedoms where applicable) to increase power: 30kW, 40kW?! How are Enstone supposed to build a competitive car in the 2025 season while being 40kW down on power?!
“We quickly reached the conclusion that it was not worth our time and effort. Moreover, for such a small performance gain, it would be a distraction in our efforts towards the development of the 2026 PU project.”
- Bruno Famin
The Alpine racing boss seems to show a lack of racing ambition IMO.
I thought the 2026 engine budget cap is separate, so Renault are welcome to spend more on improvements to the old unit for 2024-2025, including hiring external consultants (or deploying resources from elsewhere within Renault) if Viry is already operating at maximum capacity?
Also: cooling system development is free
, right? It doesn't even count to wind tunnel hours. It is suposed at the moment that the Renault engine needs the most cooling. So to rectify this, Viry can work on making the engine able to run hotter (under "reliability" provisions, but as a bonus you get more thermal efficiency), and Enstone can work on a more efficient cooling system.