Renault has defended pushing the limits of the F1 rules together with Red Bull.
Although the French marque also supplies identical V8 engines to Lotus, Williams and Caterham, Red Bull is regarded as Renault’s ‘works’ team. And Remi Taffin, Renault’s head of track operations, confirmed that the engine supplier was involved in the ‘engine maps’ controversy that caused the FIA to close a rules loophole in the days between Hockenheim and Hungary. Taffin defended the push to squeeze every thousandth out of the tight F1 rules.
He told Britain’s Times newspaper that, combined with the ultra-competitive nature of the sport in 2012, “you have to take the last bit of anything”.
“The engine design is frozen so the only piece we have left, we work on,” he said. “Back in Viry (Renault), Maranello (Ferrari), Brixworth (Mercedes), 300 people are not sitting on their desks doing nothing. Within the rules we work to have the best,” he added.
Interestingly, McLaren-Mercedes’ Jenson Button also appeared to justify Red Bull and Renault’s squeezing of the regulations, insisting the reigning champions are doing it well in every area of the car.
“We are so limited in terms of the regulations,” he said. “It gets more strict every year so you are always going to find people who are pushing the limits, pushing the boundaries. Then it is down to the FIA to decide if we are within the limits or not.
“It is not just traction where that Red Bull is strong. You cannot see a specific area where that car is stronger and the regulations say they are pushing the boundaries. They are doing a good job,” said the McLaren driver. “They won’t be slow suddenly.”