Renault's Taffin unfazed by Mexico's specific challenges

© XPB 

The specific altitude of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, located at 2,200m above sea level, offers Renault as well as all engine manufacturers some unique challenges.

Fortunately, with last year's experience under his belt, Power Unit Technical Director Rémi Taffin knows how to tackle the issues which may arise while believing the Renault engine will perform at its usual level.

"The air is a lot less dense, which for a normally-aspirated engine can mean a loss in power of about 22%," reminded Taffin.

"With the turbo ICE we have, all that happens is the turbo has to spin faster. The energy recovery and deployment systems are unaffected too.

"One area you have to pay particular attention to on the power unit side is the cooling as the less dense air is not only less effective for combustion, it’s also not as strong on the cooling side too.

"You maintain the same level of power, so you have to dissipate all the energy. With less effective air going through the ducts there was certainly a question mark last year.

"Thankfully, our predictions were pretty accurate,  so there were no surprises last year, and we’re not expecting any this time either.

"That said, if it’s a particularly high ambient temperature we will need to monitor the situation closely as we’ll likely be at a very high operating temperature."

Renault's current inventory of power units has been managed efficiently with components in hand if necessary, according to the French engineer.

"We’re not in a bad shape this year in terms of engines as we’re on to our fifth now which means we have four which can be used.

"We’ll use the most recently introduced engine which has to do this and the next two races so we’re on course not to take any penalties.

"The ICE does work hard and with the long straight and the less dense and therefore less draggy air the maximum speeds of the cars are in excess of 360kph which is quite something!"

Ultimately, barring any extraordinary circumstances, Rémi Taffin believes it should be business as usual for Renault in Mexico.

"There is no reason why we should not see the same sort of performance as seen in the last four or five races.

"We want both cars in Q2 and we really would like to have another go at getting into Q3 before the season is out."


Scene at the United States Grand Prix

2016 USGP - Quotes of the week

2017 driver line-ups so far

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter