Latest news:

My visit to Viry-Chatillion

By manuStudio
December 18 2005

This is the place where they design and build the F1 Renault engine blocks. Nice clean modern building from the outside, noticeably the Renault F1 signage on top corners of the buildings, so from the highway you can miss it <p align="center"><font size="2"><img src="" alt=" " width="470" height="353" /> </font></p><p><font size="2">The most noticeable thing is the heavy security on the site. It made me feel a little bit like you would enter the site at NASA. The guess parking</font><font size="2"> is quite small only for about 20 cars which is before the main automatic gate. So you register at the security, leave your ID card and they give you a visitor badge. You must understand that this site is not open to the public. There are about 275 people working on site, but everyone there is so nice. You first enter the building to the front reception where two Renault F1 cars are displayed. One is the full size model of the R24. The other is Renault RE40 turbo</font><font size="2"> that Alain Prost won many race with in 1983. So in the reception area they had put together a nice little breakfast buffet. Then they take you to the auditorium of over a hundred seats where they show some videos of the team and Alonso in Brazil</font><font size="2"> wining the WDC, the team doing a F1 show in Moscow and getting ready in Japan</font><font size="2"> already.<br />It was funny that since it was Friday morning and the first test in the Japan GP had just already finished, the news in the factory that Kimi had blown his engine was nice welcome.<br /></font></p><p><font size="2"><img src="" alt=" " width="470" height="270" /></font></p><font size="2"><p><br />Behind that point no cameras or hand phones are allowed anywhere, it’s all very top secret. All the doors<font size="2"> have electronics security points. Starting upstairs, you enter they design studios, where no less than 50 person are on workstations using Catia softwares designing all the parts of the F1 engine block</font><font color="#0000ff" style="font-weight: 400; color: blue! important; font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; position: static"><font size="2"><span class="kLink" style="font-weight: 400; color: blue! important; font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; position: relative">,</span></font></font><font size="2"> so this is where everything all begins. In front of us, an engine block from a few years back is displayed. In the center of the room next to the designers, you can see the RS25. Then as we walk through the corridor, we pass by a meeting room where at least 20 people are in heavy discussions. We arrived downstairs and into a large workshop. This is where engine parts</font><font size="2"> and prototypes are made, all by hand, and in front of us is part of an engine block which is mostly open and took some pieces in my hand and everything is so light. I noticed a wall with a collection of champagne bottles opened and dated, must be to celebrate all the good results. As you walk through more corridor, the place feels like an engine museum as many older F1 engines</font><font size="2"> are displayed, V10s and also old V6.<br /><br />Entering a room where few people work in a workshop where only the wirering is made, all by hand, and they are working with electronic equipments from partner Magneti Marelli, which fills the room. <br /><br />Then in the lower floors and below ground, and through some very long corridors you arrived at a very special location, this is where all the test benches are, I think there are about eight of them. So we entered inside one, quite a small space at first, a room with about four seats, lots of controls, dials, digital displays, screens and monitors from many camera angles. In front, a large glass window looking into another room. Inside that room, in the center was the RS25e engine block. That is the final version of the RS25 that will be used in the Chinese GP</font><font size="2">. It is connected to so many wires and connectors in every which ways. Large exhaust pipes </font><font size="2"> are attached to the end of the engine’s pipes I could see the engineers discussing figures and graphs on the screens for some times and then they said they were ready for another test. They are using the same configuration as last year as the track is already recorded in all the systems. But here they are running the engine to more extreme conditions, they are pushing it to higher limits, if the engine passes the all the test they will be confident, They always begin testing an engine using the Spa configuration this year, as it is the most demanding and make about 1600 km. So the RS25e started, first on idle where the sound was quite smooth for about one minute, and then at higher speed, the engine roaring was so beautiful, and in only about five seconds later you could see the engine pipes getting red hot</font><font size="2">. One of the engineers turned off the lights and they only thing left was the red glowing of the engine, it was so beautiful, and unfortunately only lasted for about 10 minutes. That was really an immense moment. I felt very happy to see this F1 engine running before it hits the race track. <br /><br />Further on we visited more huge workshop where so many machines are making pieces of the engines. Then through more corridors, was displayed more engines, and there one of the most beautiful one caught my eyes, and it was the RS23, the V10 at 111 degree angle, what a wonderful piece of engineering. <br />So as far as the RS26 is concerned, its still top secret so nothing is shown and nothing is told, apart that its being tested and that the R26 should be released in the beginning of January.</font></p></font><p><font size="2"><img src="" alt=" " width="470" height="166" /><br /><br />It was a great visit and I want to thank Renault F1 Team</font><font size="2">. I had such a great time that I will try to visit Renault F1 factory in Enstone, England</font><font size="2">.<br /></font></p>

View a Printer Friendly version of this Story.

Bookmark or share this story with: