Looking at the Renault R.S.19
As the Formula 1 season is now underway, it is worth a moment to consider the technology of the type of vehicle that is exotic yet, in the words of Jérôme Stoll, president of Renault Sport Racing, “a laboratory for our future road-going technology.” If you have to test the tech out somewhere, the premier motorsports stage certainly isn’t a bad venue. So here is a look at one of the cars that is on the grid, the R.S. 19 that is being campaigned by Nico Hülkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo. The chassis is manufactured at a facility in Enstone, UK, and the powertrain, or the E-Tech 19 power unit, comes out of Viry-Châtillon, France.
The Enstone facility has been improved for chassis production. According to Nick Chester, Renault F1 Team Chassis Technical Director, “The current infrastructure is top-level with better machining centers for chassis machining where we can work to tighter tolerances. We’ve made improvements to the wind tunnel, we have a paint shop on site, which means we can push things later and still have top quality finish. The new clean room is fantastic, it’s double in size from its predecessor, making composite lay-up more efficient and that’s helping us push to get the car ready. All over the factory there have been improvements and at the same time we’ve been building the engineering capabilities of the team.”
The chassis is based on a molded carbon fiber and aluminum honeycomb composite monocoque, which uses the E-Tech 19 as a fully stressed member. The front and rear suspensions use carbon fiber wishbones. There are aluminum uprights and OZ machined magnesium wheels. The eight-speed transmission has a carbon fiber housing. The fuel is contained in a rubber fuel cell that is reinforced with Kevlar. Inside, the driver’s seat is carbon fiber, specifically molded for the driver.
The E-19 power unit consists of the engine and energy recovery system, which consists of two motor-generators (MGU-K, or the system that serves as both a regenerative braking system and as a motor to boost the engine under acceleration, and the MGU-H, or the system connected to the turbocharger that collects and converts heat energy from exhaust gases into electricity for use in the MGU-K (it also controls the speed of the turbocharger so there’s no turbo-lag) and an energy storage system) and the 1.6-liter, turbocharged (single turbocharger) V6 engine. The total system horsepower, including that provided by the energy recovery system, is in excess of 950.
Dimensionally, the R.S. 19 is 215.7 inches long, 37.4 inches high, 78.7 inches wide, and with the driver, cameras and ballast (which can be calibrated based on the driver’s weight, more for the lighter, and vice versa), 1,638 pounds in mass.
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