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Engine War 2015

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Engine War 2015

Postby Lawrence on Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:22 pm

The front page has a very interesting article today. There is a claim by, of course, Mercedes personnel that Renault and Ferrari did not take the opportunity to develop the engine all of 2014 (since Melbourne). They only started working on their engines recently and as such Renault will not even be able to use all the develop tokens they are allowed to. Renault will not be able to change their configuration before next year, although Ferrari will.

If any of this is close to true....it does explain a lot of things.
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Re: Engine War 2015

Postby Sakae on Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:43 pm

I am sorry, but Cowell's statement doesn't make much sense to me.
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Re: Engine War 2015

Postby Lawrence on Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:51 pm

The link to the front page is here: http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns29558.html
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Re: Engine War 2015

Postby Sakae on Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:58 pm

I read it, but it sounds like a lot of internal politics. To make it simple, Mercedes should remove all roadblocks, stop worrying whether there was enough work done this year by competitors, and let it ride. If Cowell is right, than he has no reason to fear anything, so, what's his problem?
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Re: Engine War 2015

Postby Lawrence on Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:05 pm

Sakae wrote:I am sorry, but Cowell's statement doesn't make much sense to me.


Cowell's statement was:
But Andy Cowell, the engine boss at Mercedes, insists there is no good reason for the German carmaker's rivals to be complaining about the current rules.

"The situation is clear," he is quoted by Spain's El Mundo Deportivo.

"You can develop the engine all year long and then race your great evolution at the beginning of next season.

"There is a very long list of development opportunities for our opponents to take a big step forward," he added.


Now, considering the source, it obviously has bias and may well have spin to it, but there is an underlying logic to it. The freeze is on actually making changes to the engine. You can certianly research and work on ideas for the better part of the year and then introduce the changes wholesale during the period that you are allowed to change engines. If it is true that Renault will not be able to use all its tokens, that does make the argument that they at least did not do their footwork.

Now, in the real world Renault was kind of busy getting its 2014 engine to work, and may not have had the budget for two engine teams (one to repair 2014 engine and the other to develop the 2015 engine), but still it does appear that at least Renault has again been caught behind the power curve due to an in-ability to plan well ahead. This is not the first time (remember the last homologation).

But several other things caught my eye here. First, Renault and Ferrari were pretty insistent that they needed until July to develop the engines. Why is that? Is it because they were otherwise behind the power curve because they didn't start early enough. Is this just Cowell's spin or is there some truth to it? Interesting enough part of the reason that no one had an 3.0 liter engine able to challenge the Brabham-Repcos in 1966 and 1967 was that they were busy arguing and expecting the rules to be changed (in this case not going to 3.0 liters) so that didn't waste the time or money to develop a 3.0 liter engine for the 1966 season. To a lesser extent, did the same thing happen here, where Ferrari and Renault were more focused on changing the regulations then they were on developing the engine within the regulations. Could be just a cheap jab by Cowell, but I suspect there is more to it than that.

The other thing that caught my eye is that Ferrari was able to change its engine configuration to match Mercedes, but Renault was not. This is significant, for it first shows that it can be done under the current 48% system and second, it pretty solidly shows that Renault was not on top of its engine development for 2015.

I think you probably need to re-read the article wearing a different hat.
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Re: Engine War 2015

Postby Sakae on Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:26 pm

Sometimes easiest fix is to burn everything and start with a clean sheet of paper; so much cannot be disputed, unless you want to throw good money into bottomless pit. So much I gather from various comments, and token system has not allowed for total (100%) change. in fact, as outsider, we aren't even able to generate qualified opinion whether token system permits changes of various relevant subsystems that are in weak chain on Renaults and Ferrari. I am not sure if 2016 will be any different.
Lauda's comment is also something for the books with his rhetorical why Renault and Ferrari didn't start work on a new engine in Melbourne? Is he serious? Just like that you come to your board after one race and ask for injection of another 100 Mill without even giving chance to recovery of resources you have? There is another hundred problems with that approach under current regulations, but it obviously doesn't stop those guys playing gullible media. Whole article cannot be taken seriously, I am sorry.
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Re: Engine War 2015

Postby Sakae on Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:31 pm

Lawrence wrote:
Sakae wrote:But several other things caught my eye here. First, Renault and Ferrari were pretty insistent that they needed until July to develop the engines. Why is that? Is it because they were otherwise behind the power curve because they didn't start early enough. Is this just Cowell's spin or is there some truth to it? Interesting enough part of the reason that no one had an 3.0 liter engine able to challenge the Brabham-Repcos in 1966 and 1967 was that they were busy arguing and expecting the rules to be changed (in this case not going to 3.0 liters) so that didn't waste the time or money to develop a 3.0 liter engine for the 1966 season. To a lesser extent, did the same thing happen here, where Ferrari and Renault were more focused on changing the regulations then they were on developing the engine within the regulations. Could be just a cheap jab by Cowell, but I suspect there is more to it than that.

The other thing that caught my eye is that Ferrari was able to change its engine configuration to match Mercedes, but Renault was not. This is significant, for it first shows that it can be done under the current 48% system and second, it pretty solidly shows that Renault was not on top of its engine development for 2015.

I think you probably need to re-read the article wearing a different hat.
I think July consideration is related to real track time, and pre-races testing (Feb and subsequent Fridays) is probably not adequate. That's how I am reading it.

On subject of Ferrari - I don't know enough of details to confirm or dispute, that Renault and Ferrari started with identical solutions, and ended up only one changed. Sometimes there is more to it then meets the eye, and considering competitive nature of this business, I am not sure if anyone, including Lauda and Cowell can actually speak to it authoritatively.
Last edited by Sakae on Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Engine War 2015

Postby Lawrence on Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:35 pm

Sakae wrote:Lauda's comment is also something for the books with his rhetorical why Renault and Ferrari didn't start work on a new engine in Melbourne? Is he serious? Just like that you come to your board after one race and ask for injection of another 100 Mill without even giving chance to recovery of resources you have?


Well, the underlying issue is that Mercedes spent a whole lot more before 2014 to develop the engine...so yea, in all reality, both Renault's and Ferrari's answer had to include another $100 million. That clearly has not occurred in Renault's case.

Whole article cannot be taken seriously, I am sorry.


Well, I do take it seriouslly. Understand there is spin here by Mercedes, but what gets my attention is that:

1. Renault was not able to reconfigure their engine (but Ferrari was)
2. Renault was not able to use all its tokens.

I gather neither of those points come from quotes from Mercedes personnel (although it may be inside information from them). If these two points are true, it shows some more very real problems over at Renault.

I also wonder if this is not what drove all the driver changes, in that Alonso at Ferrari could see that the programs there were not up to snuff and bailed and that Vettel could see that the Renault engine problem was not up to snuff there and bailed.
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Re: Engine War 2015

Postby Sakae on Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:43 pm

In Vettel's case I think we could apply lex parsimoniae principle, namely, he was bored and thinking of next contract, when he has received call from heaven (err, Ferrari, his place of dreams), so, he took it. Right call in right time addressed to a right man. That's what I think. It was nothing more complex than that.
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Re: Engine War 2015

Postby Lawrence on Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:32 pm

Sakae wrote:In Vettel's case I think we could apply lex parsimoniae principle, namely, he was bored and thinking of next contract, when he has received call from heaven (err, Ferrari, his place of dreams), so, he took it. Right call in right time addressed to a right man. That's what I think. It was nothing more complex than that.


Well, it is one of five or so reasons, I really have no idea which it is:
1. Wanted to go to Ferrari.
2. Wanted a new challenge.
3. Wanted to get away from DR.
4. Wanted to get away from a decling Red Bull-Renault team.
5. Was the most competitive option available.

Was there ever any consideration of him going to McLaren-Honda?
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Re: Engine War 2015

Postby Sakae on Tue Dec 02, 2014 4:51 pm

Lawrence wrote:
Sakae wrote:In Vettel's case I think we could apply lex parsimoniae principle, namely, he was bored and thinking of next contract, when he has received call from heaven (err, Ferrari, his place of dreams), so, he took it. Right call in right time addressed to a right man. That's what I think. It was nothing more complex than that.


Well, it is one of five or so reasons, I really have no idea which it is:
1. Wanted to go to Ferrari.
2. Wanted a new challenge.
3. Wanted to get away from DR.
4. Wanted to get away from a decling Red Bull-Renault team.
5. Was the most competitive option available.

Was there ever any consideration of him going to McLaren-Honda?


Why so complex?

1. Wanted to go to Ferrari. (So he says).
2. Wanted a new challenge. (So he and others say).
3. Wanted to get away from DR. (So his detractors alleging; maybe they know more than rest of us).
4. Wanted to get away from a declining Red Bull-Renault team. (It hasn't occurred to me until you mentioned, but in view of 1 and 2 this is somewhat academical, isn't it)?
5. Was the most competitive option available. (I doubt it. His model is not Senna, or Hollywood. This guy has his feet on the ground. His model was Schumacher at Ferrari with all good and challenging).
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Re: Engine War 2015

Postby Mach on Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:20 am

Sakae wrote:In Vettel's case I think we could apply lex parsimoniae principle, namely, he was bored and thinking of next contract, when he has received call from heaven (err, Ferrari, his place of dreams), so, he took it. Right call in right time addressed to a right man. That's what I think. It was nothing more complex than that.

I think RBR got a cheaper driver in Daniel Ricciardo.....who is damn good 8)

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Re: Engine War 2015

Postby Sakae on Wed Dec 03, 2014 9:29 am

Horner is back in headlines, warning that Renault could quit, if rules will not change. There is war of words going on, but we will have to wait when and if we will hear from Renault directly. I am sort of doubtful that Wolff can think that he will retain advantage they have by handcuffing competition for next several years. That will not happen, me thinks.
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Re: Engine War 2015

Postby Lawrence on Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:53 pm

Well, the current regulations are only in place for 2015, so I guess it really depends on what they come up with for 2016. I get the sense that Renault has the lowest budget of any of the four engine manufacturers, which if true, is probably the real problem.
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Re: Engine War 2015

Postby Sakae on Wed Dec 03, 2014 1:37 pm

Mercedes first nuking everyone's budget, and then insisting on locked development door is not helpful either, yet Wolff has audacity to warn of spending war? That's really a comical position to take.
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