Renault have apparently failed two of the three required crash tests, made mandatory by the FIA to ensure the strength of the cars is maintained. The Enstone-based team are due to unveil their 2009 challenger at the Portimao circuit on January 19th, and they insist this will still go ahead as planned. The car will have to undergo further crash tests to ensure it’s strength before the team will be allowed to race in 2009.
It is believed that the car failed the front and side tests, but Renault are confident that they have identified the problem and it has already been solved. As Autosport point out though, failing crash tests is not that rare as the teams push the construction of the machines to the limit in attempts to cut down on overall weight. This has been made ever more important this year as the introduction of KERS adds a lot of kilograms to the cars.
It is something not at all unusual. However, we have identified the problem and solved it. The car will be testing in Algarve on January 19th. Renault Spokesperson.
Renault failed the side-impact crash test in 2005, but they still went on to solve the problem and win the constructors title that year. Other teams have also failed crash tests when they redesign a part mid-season that would have an effect on the way the energy is dispersed through the car upon impact.
Conversely, Red Bull Racing were required to allow FIA inspectors to check last years RB4 after it appeared to fall apart after what looked like very minor accidents. The car passed the inspections, but oddly enough it seemed to be a little more stable for the rest of the year. Well, Mark Webber’s chassis was, anyway.