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2014-05-16 10:21

RUNNING OUT OF POWER UNITS: Red Bull appeared to have resolved its car woes at the 2014 Spanish GP but engine-supplier Renault warned that teams could run out of power units. Image: AP/Manu Fernandez

LONDON, England - Renault-powered Formula 1 teams could run out of engines in 2014, the automaker has warned.

Renault chief Rob White said the company's recovery from its early-season struggle for power and reliability was ongoing: "At the first test we were miles off.  We were in a crisis, but we didn't panic. We set up a plan to close the gap and since then we have made progress but unfortunately not quite enough."

Teams, however, could pay a price for Renault’s efforts to end its crisis.


White said: "Within individual teams we have consumed more components within the power unit than we had planned.  It means the teams are in different development cycles. For some it might be tough to stay within the allowed five units (per driver per season)."

Although Red Bull's struggles  have had the highest public profile, F1 correspondent Michael Schmidt, claims Lotus is in fact the worst-affected team, followed by Caterham.

Despite problems, White is confident Renault can continue to close the gap and he insists the power advantage held by Mercedes is not a target too far: "There is nothing in our engine concept that prevents us from being the best."


It has been said that Mercedes stole a march in the fundamental layout of its V6 concept, uniquely situating the turbine and air compressors at either end of the power unit, but White insisted: "It's not that we didn't think of arranging it that way. We don't consider it the match-winner."

Renault's F1 boss Jean-Michel Jalinier agrees: "We have not had any great eye-opening experience in which we had to admit to ourselves that we were caught out."

White said: "We were late to reach our goals, or we underestimated the risks or overestimated our capacity to solveproblems in time".

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 F1 season – fresh reports every day.
Read more on:    renault  |  spain  |  motorsport  |  f1  |  racing

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