Otmar Szafnauer talks about signing off the Alpine power unit they had with the regulations but in hindsight they would have had a more robust design.
With the engine freeze, every manufacturer had to seal off a design for the years until 2025. It was a big decision which they agreed upon as minimal changes could be made in this period especially on the development side of the game.
As things stand, the power units from Honda, Mercedes and Ferrari seem to be close to one another but the one from Renault is seemingly slightly behind. They had reliability issues as well which were out of their hands as much which only popped up during the season.
In hindsight – as is with a lot of things – Szafnauer notes that would have had a more robust design if given a chance. Some of the issues that they faced would have been very difficult to replicate on the dyno for them to ascertain them.
“Well, hindsight is a wonderful thing and had we known that some of these failures were to creep in, we would have had a different more robust design, but I think the process of signing off the engines was correct,” said Szafnauer. “We did all the dyno testing and long run running that you would expect for a new powertrain design.
“And some of the conditions that produce some of the failures would be very, very difficult to replicate on a dyno and when we did have those failures, we quickly got on top of them, and corrected them.
“One of the failures was a minor failure that was an assembly error on the part of a mechanic putting the engine together and that kind of stuff is impossible to replicate when you’re doing dyno work. However, when you learn from them, and you put the process in place, such that that can’t happen again and it’s exactly what we’ve been doing this year,” summed up Szafnauer.
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