Formula One team Renault have some big plans for its race pace in 2017 – and they’re likely to depend on their upgraded front wing.
With the 2017 season gaining momentum and clear leaders emerging, the rest of the pack faces a challenge when it comes to their allotted upgrades. With the renovated regulations being famously more open than in previous years, Formula One’s governing body has made it clear that they want to see a more engaging and dynamic sport over the next several years – but whether the teams will be able to live up to the challenge remains to be seen.
One team, however, won’t be content to leave their future performance up to chance. Formula One’s Renault -a series mainstay- has been collecting as much data as they can to push their car down the correct development path, which looks to be focused on the front wing.
Renault’s Chief Technical Officer Bob Bell spoke on the matter, elucidating further the team’s decisions to focus on the wing:
“[On what is holding the team back] It’s pretty clear and we’re not under any illusion; we are currently qualifying better than we race and that’s a symptom of our current car performance.
We have a reasonable understanding of why this is and have a number of developments to address this in the realm of aerodynamics and suspension.
We tested new parts – including a new front wing – in Bahrain designed to add more aero-performance to the car and also make it slightly more benign to engender better race pace. The RS17 is not as well balanced as we’d like over a full stint.
Whilst you can get away with this over the course of a qualifying lap – where fresh tires can mask the balance issue – the performance is less consistent when you take to the longer runs of race stints.” – Bob Bell
Renault hasn’t been scraping the bottom of the barrel in the Grand Prix so far, but they’ve certainly not been getting the results they’ve wanted to see either. The best takeaway from the racing early on is that their keenly aware of the aero issues they face. If the team can manage to overcome this hurdle and convert some qualifying pace, the midfield will be in a very exciting place come the mid-season.