Audi’s launch coincided with the announcement that Allan McNish would take the reigns as teach principal of the German outfit.
Renault’s design has been more about evolution than revolution, but Audi have been aggressive in their quest for a teams’ title by implementing an all-new powertrain, including the introduction of a single-gear transmission in a departure from their effective three-speed unit and the introduction of through a new MGU.
“Together with our technology partner Schaeffler, we have developed a completely new powertrain,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass.
“You can immediately tell this by looking at the new carbon housing of the powertrain. The car also sounds different because we’re pursuing new avenues in technology.”
Despite opting for what might be viewed as a conservative approach, Renault e-Dams team principal Alain Prost believes the team have taken the right approach in defending the teams’ championship, despite losing the driver’s title to Lucas di Grassi.
“We have seen that the competition will be tougher with some major car manufactures joining us in the championship but we have a very good team and a very solid technical partner with Renault” said Prost.
“We also have two excellent drivers, who have worked very well together since the beginning of our adventure, they are very complementary. We have a genuine cohesion at all levels, which is our strength. This year, our motivation is stronger even though we know that the challenge will be harder to meet.”
Last season’s championship runner-up Sebastien Buemi believes Renault’s approach will sit better with the concessions needed in preperations for season 5.
“There is a compromise because you also need to make sure you are competitive in Season Four too of course, especially as it will be even closer between the teams” said Buemi..
“So in terms of budget and human resources a lot has been switched to Season Five. However, I would say the work we have done looks promising, but we really won’t know until Hong Kong in reality.”
Images: Audi/Renault e-Dams