Renault is a secret to Red Bull’s recent success in F1, the French carmaker claims.
The common perception, however, is that the energy drink-owned team has dominated the sport in recent years despite Mercedes-Benz actually supplying a more powerful 2.4 litre V8 engine to Red Bull’s rivals.
“The Mercedes engine is indeed about 15 horse power more powerful than ours,” confirmed Renault Sport F1’s Jean-Francois Caubet to Sport Bild. “But in terms of driveability and fuel economy, it is our engine in front. So when it comes to the bottom line, we are a little bit better than Mercedes.”
The most crucial factor, Caubet claimed, is the engine’s fuel economy amid the backdrop of the recent ban on in-race refuelling.
“Because our consumption is lower, Red Bull can start the races with 15 to 18 litres less petrol in the tank than the competition,” he commented. “That makes a big difference.”
Another factor is Sebastian Vettel’s driving, he agreed, with the back to back world champion having a “very fuel efficient” style, and being “extremely interested in the data”.
“They are both key factors when the driver wants to use the engine perfectly,” said Caubet.