The 2.4 V8 engine that gave Fernando Alonso's second and Sebastian Vettel's all four championship titles is about to get retired to give space to next year's turbo V6. Let me give you some numbers to prove why it will be missed.
The V8's vital statistics are the following:
- 8 years of competition
- 59 wins - 40% of wins in the V8 era
- 65 pole positions
- 55 fastest laps
- 3665.5 points
- 5 Constructors' world titles
- 5 Drivers' world titles
- 750bhp maximum power (2013 version, typical car installation, typical temp/pressure/humidity)
- 18,000 rpm maximum engine speed (2013 version)
- 95kg weight, FIA perimeter
- 1,271 engines built, 683 for track use, 588 for dyno use
- >2 000 000 km total
- >5 000 components per engine
- >7 600 000 parts used
- 21,800 pistons used
- 43,200 inlet valves used
- 45,900 exhaust valves used
- 43,800 connecting-rod bolts fitted
- 22,000 spark plugs used
- 10,600 oil filters used
That's a lot of oil filters.
Rémi Taffin, Renaultsport F1 head of track operations had this to say:
The V8 was the era of how to make a car faster using everything except the pure power of an engine so we've learnt a lot of different skills, such as better integration, greater fuel economy and how to use the auxiliary facets such as the exhausts to a much greater extent.
We always think about what we could have done better, but to be completely fair we have achieved a hell of a lot and we can be proud. I really think Renault and our customers showed the way to design and use an engine in its most efficient way to get the fastest car! We could argue we could have finished more races without any problems, but in the end, wins sometimes come from failures and you learn by pushing the limits.
One of my favourite memories of the period will be the 2006 season. We were up against it as we had had an engine failure at Monza and Schumacher had taken the championship lead. It was nearly impossible to recover as the Ferrari was quicker at this stage. But we kept our heads down and at the race after in Japan, we won. This time it was Ferrari's engine that blew up and we regained the championship lead before the last round in Brazil. That was a perfect example of racing to the end. These were the early days of the V8 but we already were using them at the limit and the failure in Monza just proved how close we were.
While I've enjoyed this era immensely next year will be an even greater challenge. For me, I grew up watching the turbos and it's what I dreamt of doing when I was a kid, so it will be a bit like going back in the future…!
Jean-Michel Jalinier, Renaultsport F1's President added:
The V8 era has been a particularly successful one for Renault, and one that stands up to the exceptionally high standards we set with the V10 in the 90s. We can be very proud of the 'hit' rate of wins and poles, but equally of the progress we have made, particularly under the frozen engine regulations. What is equally satisfying is the relationships we have built up with all of our teams. We have worked hard on installation to provide the most driveable engine, sacrificing outright power to enable greater integration and other benefits such as energy recovery and cooling to make the overall speed of the car quicker. To have won with four different teams and six different drivers shows the relationships have flourished.
Throughout the V8 era Renault has experienced growth outside Europe and our success in Formula 1 has supported the growing awareness and image of the brand in all the countries of conquest, which has in turn contributed to the objective of international development. Additionally, every race victory is a source of motivation for all the people working for Renault.
Renault can be proud indeed. We shall see if they can do the same with some boost.
Photo credit: Renault and Cha già José