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Renault fast forwarded development to beat 2022 freeze

NEWS STORY
11/03/2021

Renault's engine boss, Remi Taffin has admitted that plans to introduce a new power unit for 2023 were brought forward in order to beat the impending freeze on engine development.

The freeze, which was only agreed by the teams last month, means there can be no further development until the next generation of power units is introduced in 2025, and was vital if Red Bull was to purchase Honda's technology.

Renault, whose engines will be used by Alpine, had intended introducing a new power unit in 2023 but opted to fast forward its plans.

The '21 engine was not actually driven by what's happening in '22 or '23," explains Taffin. "The decision we have made back in 2020 was driven by the fact that we would actually put everything on '22, having in mind that we would have another revolution in ‘23.

"We could make the best out of the new baseline we had for '22," he continues, "which is now not the case anymore because we haven't got '23, but actually we're quite happy.

"We can have, actually, a big push for '22, so we are even pushing further forwards on some of the evolution we had in '23 into '22."

With a freeze on development last year due to the pandemic, upgrades that were planned for mid-season have now been incorporated into the 2021 engine.

"We implemented the modifications we forecast for last year mid-season into this year," he reveals. "It's more of an evolution that we would have in season at races rather than over winter, and obviously we had then put our focus on '22.

"At the same time we did, over the winter, the validation of our '21 engine, which is an evolution of last year," he adds. "We're basically set up for race one.

"I'm hoping that what we've done is enough to preserve the reliability we got last year, which proved to give us a good baseline and obviously a bit more performance from the evolution I just mentioned."

Following McLaren's move to Mercedes power units, Renault has no customer teams though it has admitted that it is willing to work with new partners going forward.

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