Audi Sport's Ulrich Baretzky Interview - DRIVE UNCUT

Uploaded by drive on 30.03.2012


LEO PARENTE:: Hi, Leo here.
You know, we listen to your comments.
Remember we went and visited Audi sport and that e-tron
Quattro tested Sebring?
And the new fan favorite, Ulrich Baretzky, the head of
Audi engine development, really kind of hit a vibe with
you guys with his interview in the part we showed you.
Well, guess what?
Here's the entire Baretzky interview, uncut, on the uncut
section of Drive for you to enjoy.
This will be the first of a number of these uncut moments
because all that interview stuff we do, there's a lot of
good pearls in there.
And Baretsky, he's our man.
Listen to him and love him.
INTERVIEWER: So I'm going to ask you the first question
about your engines and diesel technology.
What is it that I don't know enough to ask you about the
new TDI technology coming in the 2012 race car?
ULRICH BARETZKY: Yes, this the technology is, let's say,
another step in development from the last year's engines.
So we are working every year from engine to engine, not
only from the V6, also the 12 cylinder, 10 cylinder we did,
or the combustion process, which is the core thing of a
diesel engine.
The better you can burn diesel, the more efficient,
the more clean, the more powerful.
And this is a science.
Hundreds of a 10th of a millimeter makes already a big
difference in some of the areas.
To exploit the potential and the possibilities, you have to
make a lot of development work, and one year is not
enough from one Le Mans race to the other.
So you have to make a program, and you work
as far as you can.
Then you make a stop for Le Mans, and then you continue
after that.
Or/and you have as well to react on change of rules.
For example, like last year when the ACU or the governing
bodies decided to reduce the air restrictor means, the
amount or the mass of the air you have available for your
engine and the boost means the charge you have in the engine.
And this makes you react to recover as much as you can
from the power you have lost by this change of rules.
And overall, we always try to increase the efficiency of the
engine in general, and specifically for this year, we
have all worked very hard to reduce substantially the
weight of the engine, which was already a
very lightweight engine.
But thanks to the fact we had to integrate "weight neutral,"
a hybrid system, we had to reduce the weight of the whole
car, and the engine had to contribute its part.
INTERVIEWER: So from that standpoint, without giving
secrets, did you find the weight saving in redesign of
parts, integration of systems, or less parts?
ULRICH BARETZKY: Only by taking each part and working
on it, maybe replacing material, taking more
expensive materials, or changing the surface treatment
or heat treatment, or making new calculations and/or just
taking more risks.
Because you cannot stress the material to the very end.
There are limits.
And we are maybe just about to exploit these limits.
That's why we are here in Sebring for testing on this
bumpy road where the engine is stressed mechanically more
than in Le Mans.
And it was always a perfect test ground here to find out
any weak points in the structure of the engines.
And this is a very essential thing for us because we have
also taken away some weight from the crankcase, which is
the supporting element which keeps, let's say, the rear
axle and the monocoque together.
And just to find out whether all our calculations or
assumptions are right, we are here.
We are running here three or four days.
And then we will see.
Hopefully, not.
INTERVIEWER: You have systems that
are supposed to integrate.
And e-tron is one of the systems that
adds to your engine.
What factors did that create in terms of needing to
redesign the V6?
ULRICH BARETZKY: Nothing, nothing.
That's the good thing.
For the engine, basically, it's a
mechanical part of the car.
It doesn't matter whether it's an e-tron or an ultra.
They are running the same engines in both cars.
We are also running the same mapping in both cars.
The difference is made by the strategy of
how the car is driven.
When you have an e-tron, then you have the choice whether
you do an economic run.
And if you are running on a fuel-save mode, This
influences a certain way the engine--
or you are running on a qualifying mode, this does not
influence the engine because he's normally used to run on
Except you really want to save fuel, or you have to save fuel
as we had to save last year the very last stint in Le Man
with three official friends on our neck and fuel running out.
And then if we needed to play everything in the engine, that
you keep the consumption as low as you wouldn't believe it
to arrive at the end.
And this will be supported in the future by the hybrid, by
the e-tron.
INTERVIEWER: Did that make last year's win
your most proud win?
ULRICH BARETZKY: I think it was, for sure, the most
stressful win in the last 25 minutes.
With all the accidents, It's sad.
It's always tragic if you lose a car.
But I was not involved as an engine guy.
But in the last 20 minutes it was all down to the engine and
down to the consumption of the engine.
And I said I don't want to lose this race in the very
last moment.
And it was funny because there, we made
an efficiency run.
We changed time against fuel.
We had an advantage of 30 seconds.
And we screwed down everything, and the driver had
to back up to change this into fuel to come to the very end.
INTERVIEWER: In the 24 hours, as you saw the race develop,
how far back, how many hours did you back strategy to get
to where you knew we were in position to win?
ULRICH BARETZKY: I think I never lost confidence
that we would win.
It's funny.
No, it's funny.
It's not that I'm always a super optimistic man.
But I had somewhere the feeling.
At midnight when we had this huge accident and the second
car was gone, most of the people were at the moment
completely down, altogether.
But first of all, nobody left his position, never.
They all stayed in position.
They just went to the remaining car and worked or
tried to help wherever they could to get this car going.
And after an hour or two, no meeting has been done.
You felt everywhere there was a common spirit growing from
every corner.
You could see it.
This was something I've never seen in Le Mans before, that
people are so motivated, and said, hey, if there is a
justice, we are going to win it.
If not, we will do everything.
It shouldn't be our mistake if we do
everything to win this race.
And if it's really come to a good end, this would be a
fantastic victory, and it was.
INTERVIEWER: Do you think the Peugeot people felt that?
Do you think they saw that?
ULRICH BARETZKY: I think they were surprised.
They were surprised.
But, in fact, they didn't fall in tears and lay on the ground
and gave up.
The contrary was--
this was something typical Audi.
You are sitting in a-- and I have seen this in other areas
very often.
They are in a desperate situation.
And everybody would say it's done.
They will never win this race with one car
against four Peugeots.
But there's one word in our race environment--
"never give up."
And this is also one of the logos in Audi--
"never give up." We always find a solution.
We fight for it until the very end.
And this is something we made last year happen.
And all our boards, which were around us, they were
completely impressed about this.
Motivation that we have seen there and the spirit we have
seen there, that's something you cannot buy for money.
This is something you can only see in such a situation.
And it gives me as a head in management, it gives me an
extremely good feeling about the crew, about the
environment, about the people which are working together,
how much you can rely on them in critical situations.
It was an extremely good feeling.
INTERVIEWER: Tom and Alan asked me to ask you
challenging questions.
I would rather take an optimistic view of that.
I know you've led with engine development and engine
So if you were in charge of racing around the globe, what
would you want to have happen as the rules for new engines
in motorsport?
ULRICH BARETZKY: There's a very simple thing I would like
to see happen for racing in general.
It's down to the engine at the end of the day, because these
are the energy consumer, if you want.
What I would really-- and what I'm fighting for all these
years is that we come to rules that respect the demands of
our daily life, you know?
Energy is expensive.
Not expensive enough, it will become more expensive.
It will become precious.
So people have to have the feeling that what we are doing
in motorsport is not entertainment.
On Sunday or Saturday, people are watching see
cars going in circles.
No, they should watch us developing technologies to
make their life easier or their mobility affordable.
And that's my dream all these years.
And this is my motivation about the technology we are
doing, is really to make engines and powertrains more
and more and more efficient.
To take care about the environmental issues we are
facing, we cannot deny that they are there.
We also have to face the fact that the oil reserves whenever
they will finish, because the globe is a globe.
And this is a ball and when it's empty, it's empty.
And there will be a day and a moment where it is empty.
But we should find solutions, technical solutions, that
allow us to go beyond this point with our mobility.
So we have to work on renewable resources.
We have to work on efficiency of powertrains by the help of
interim hybrid systems or other
systems, energy recovery.
And motorsport, I think, is the best place to showcase and
to prove if a system is viable or not.
Because if you are better than the others,
that's the best proof.
And if it's running in Le Mans 24 hours then it's worse to go
into production car.
And that's our attitude.
INTERVIEWER: Why do you think--
this is my perception.
Why do you think racing people are exceptionally innovative
when given a set of rules, but when it's time to create the
rules, they're very conservative?
ULRICH BARETZKY: I have done both.
I have done both, so I can really understand it.
I always have to remember it's much easier to break rules
than to create them the same.
And the reason is simple.
Because in a moment we are sitting and making rules,
which we have done several times with colleagues, then we
are always in mind to close every loophole.
What are the possibilities that would allow you to make
it otherwise than I intend the rules should guide you?
And this makes it complicated.
The best thing is to make a law book.
It would be to bring all the criminals together, and they
should say how it should be written because they know it
best how to break it.
Then they should know it best how to avoid that laws are
broken or what should be done to prevent them from doing it.
And that's why.
And the other thing is always you have a
certain point of view.
I have the Audi view, if you want, or the diesel view, or
the gasoline view, depending on the project I'm just in.
And this makes your view a little bit limited.
And the rule should be open.
Especially if you talk about efficiency, it should allow
all kinds of systems which are reasonable, and only the world
"reasonable" is already showing limitation.
What is reasonable?
But to allow people to go down this road in the guideline,
with these barriers left and right so they don't go across
somewhere, is not so easy.
And to find the real justice and the real balance between
all these systems, it's even more complicated.
And it's always easier to shout at the governing bodies
and say this is bad, and this is wrong, and
this should be different.
Make it better.
Make a proposal.
That's all I can say.
It's not that easy.
INTERVIEWER: We look at the engine
development of the past decade.
We've progressed with diesel so far.

Besides Audi, do you think we have, as a society, employed
new technology from racing to production cars
as best as we could?
Or are there limitations to what we've done?
And are we falling behind from what's been learned on the
race track?
What could be used in production terms?
ULRICH BARETZKY: Many questions,
not so easy to answer.
I think--
being at Audi, I think we have done the best to integrate
solutions from racing into road.
And this has become part of the philosophy of Audi.
And I'm very proud of that.
Because we all here are part of this development.
We have pushed it.
We have contributed to it.
And it's a completely different approach.
Recently, I spoke about somebody about Peugeot.
They never found the plot that they racing department is part
of the technical development and contributes to future cars
and future technologies.
For them, racing is only going in circles and
winning, and that's it.
We at Audi, we are completely different now.
This is a process which has been developed over the last
12 or 15 years that Audi has responsibly discovered what we
are doing here.
You said about the innovation of motorsport.
It's worth to look closer at it.
And since we are in Le Mans, and in Le Mans 24 hours means
a complete Formula One race distance in 24 hours, if
technology is coming there and is proven as reliable and
effective, there is no reason, except cost, why this
technology shouldn't be available for our customers.
And this is our philosophy.
And we are on our way.
Also, with diesel technology, we won't have a highlight like
the FSI 12 years ago.
You cannot always have this huge because the others are
not idiots doing it in production.
But we can contribute here and there a lot of things.
And we are sometimes five years ahead of the problems
they may face five years later.
And then it's easy to hand over a solution or an idea of
a solution.
They can take it or not.
But I cannot say we have nothing.
And this is extended more and more and more.
And the fact that the cars are e-tron or ultras,
which should be a sign.
This is electrification.
This is hybridization, or this is lightweight strategy.
This means something that this is brought on the race cars
first and nowhere else.
This shows the link, the company or the strings, the
very strong link, the identification the company
like Audi has to us and vice versa.
That's something unique.

INTERVIEWER: What is your opinion of the way the
automotive industry stands today with alternative energy?

ULRICH BARETZKY: The problem to my personal view is the
automotive industry has no real clue how to sort out the
problem so they try everywhere.
And the biggest problem at the moment is, to me, that we in
the automotive industry are very much driven by
politicians which have no clue about technique.
They are lawyers.
They are whatever, but they are not technicians.
And at the moment when I listen to the complete
campaign about electrification, I can just
say be careful.
Because the currency, the electric energy has to come
from somewhere.
And if they always hear an electric car is emission free,
it's a lie.
It's a big, big lie.
And people don't want to be lied at.
They are lied at by politicians all year long.
But technicians shouldn't lie.
And we should tell the truth.
Electrification is not environmentally friendly,
except electricity is done by renewable forms, be it by
wind, or heat or whatever, the sun.
But this is limited in the world.
The world is not big enough to generate so much energy we
would need to keep up the mobility only by
It's part of it.
You can concentrate this in big cities to
avoid pollution there.
It's logical.
It's good.
It's fine.
But that's not all.
You have to think about alternative fuels, renewable
fuels, to overcome the situation.
There are very good steps here in America.
I have heard recently about the algae.
So we are creating organics.
They are absorbing CO2, which is a perfect solution.
And they just need water and sun, and then you have fuel.
Renewable, you don't take the land.
You don't take food from anybody.
It's place, 2/3 of the Earth are water.
And until now, we don't use it except shipping on it or
throwing dirt into it.
That's all.
And they should think about how we can use this 2/3 of the
surface in a reasonable way to solve the problems we cannot
solve on the ground.
And we can be part of it, yes.
In racing, even more so, because here, we can showcase
immediately the effect.
And I would rather like to see one day that we have an
emission-free race, a CO2-free race.
This is a dream.
I hope I will live long enough.
And I will do my part for it, believe me.

INTERVIEWER: So after this, I have one question about the
pressure in the engine.
This is after this.
You talk about the turbo and the turbo's pressurized.
But the FSI has huge pressure.
ULRICH BARETZKY: The FSI was not that much by
far not that ideal.
The maximum pressure we had in FSI was 250 bar.
INTERVIEWER: Yeah, a lot.
ULRICH BARETZKY: And in diesel, we are talking about
10 times more.
It's incredible.
INTERVIEWER: What does it give you?
What is the advantage?
I'm being naive, but I'm asking.
What does that increase in pressure give you?
ULRICH BARETZKY: The increase in pressure
is simple to answer.

Whether it's with gasoline, direct injection, or a diesel,
it doesn't matter.
You have a limited time to mix up oxygen and fuel.
And the more you atomize the spray, the bigger is the
chance that the molecules find each other.
And the more they find each other in this time, the
cleaner is the combustion, the more efficient is the
combustion, the more power you'll get out or the more
And unfortunately--
I have to say unfortunately or fortunately,
however you look at it--
we have come into the diesel area.
And I would rather like before I retire to go back once to a
gasoline engine, direct injection, to use all this
experience we have made with diesel.
I think we could make a huge step, huge, huge step as a
direct-injected gasoline engine with all the knowledge
we have now from diesel engines, believe me.
INTERVIEWER: Obviously, respect for Toyota and their
Le Mans program, but will that become a test of
diesel versus petrol?
It will, for instance, become a test how unfair the rules
are at the moment.
INTERVIEWER: That's what I was going to ask.
Is it a technology sector rule?
We know that.
The problem is, until now, we only ran against privateers.
Because when we ran diesel versus diesel, it was factory
against factory.
It was on diesel basis.
But both--
Peugeot and us, both-- we are convinced in a moment a
competitor is coming who is doing it with the same energy
with the same knowledge.
They will blow us away.
Not because diesel is worse.
It's only because, over the years, the rules have been so
much against diesel.
Look at the tank capacity.
Now a gasoline car has 15 liters.
We with diesel are allowed to run 60.
So 50 liters less.
That's a lot.
And if you do a very good efficient gasoline engine then
you have a huge advantage by that--
power-wise the same, efficiency wise.
If you do it right, it's an extreme-- it can do very--
it's not as efficient as a diesel.
But the difference which is shown now in the rules is far
away from the technical difference
which is really existing.
And this makes me think very, very, very, hard how we can
overcome it.
I have some ideas.
But if this comes to work, technology wise it would be a
nice thing, yes.
But it doesn't change the imbalance which
is done in the rules.
But the other thing is to go and lose races five or six in
a row to prove what we already know.
It's also not a real good solution for a racer.
INTERVIEWER: Are you involved in the rules discussion or is
that Dr. Ulrich?
ULRICH BARETZKY: No, we are involved.
I'm involved.
I'm very often in Paris.
The problem is you are talking against walls.
Not because the people are not understanding what you are
saying, they just don't believe it.
Or they don't know you or don't understand it.
This is difficult to say because they see--
when you are coming, when I am coming they
say, ah, that's Baretzky.
He's diesel and Audi.
And whatever he says he says in favor.
And yesterday, funny enough you say that, we had a huge
discussion over there with the governing bodies, some of
them, and they fought very hard for gasoline engines.
It's all about valve timing, you know.
Because it's forbidden.
I said why?
Why do you?
For a diesel engine it makes no sense.
But for a gasoline engine, it may make sense because every
car normally is equipped with that now.
It's not the special development.
When we talk about efficiency or pollution or both, then
this is one thing you should have in an
engine to overcome this.
Then they said, no, no, we don't want this.
But explain me why.
You say, on one hand, you want to make efficiency rules.
And on the other side, you ban all technologies with the
argument it's too expensive.
I said it's not expensive.
I can buy these things off the shelf.
If somebody cannot integrate such a system, I can buy it at
Mercedes or BMW or Toyota, wherever, and say I want to
have electric system or hydraulic.
I can make a choice.
And then I put this thing into my engine, make a little bit
of casting around, and that's it.
And then it's available.
INTERVIEWER: How do these racing policy
decisions get made?
Is it discussion?
Is it the manufacturers agreeing and then going?
Or is it finally someone with strength saying, that's it?

ULRICH BARETZKY: Honestly, I cannot answer this question
seriously because it's all an element of
all of these things.
If you look at Peugeot, for example, it's not in their
politics, but they pulled out.
And my argument is it was not only a financial reasons.
There was a financial reason behind it.
But the fact that they pulled out in January was a political
and a personal decision.
Somebody wanted to hit somebody, and the company is
suffering from that, like hell.
They have spent the money already.
This little money they would have needed to go to Sebring
and to go to Le Man is nothing compared to the money they
have spent already.
There are four cars built.
They're existing, two hybrids and two normal cars.
We know that.
And spare parts, everything is there.
And they are not allowed to race anymore.
INTERVIEWER: Do you think it was a personal decision?
Because one of the boards, half a week before this
decision, was taken.
And the follower, he wanted to set the point
opposite to the other.
And that was the reason.
And that's how, unfortunately, more decisions are taken off
of the governing board then you would believe.
If you would know about it, you would get angry, because
it costs millions--
and thousands of hours, tens of thousands of hours work
from us, and nights and days and weekends to
react on these things.
And at the end, it's a bastard, an idiot, who has
taken a decision because he has an argument with his wife.
INTERVIEWER: We've always said race fans want to know how
these decisions get made.
And we've said, you don't want to know.
ULRICH BARETZKY: It's better you don't know it, yeah.