Renault Sport F1 has launched its 2017 challenger to the world in Paris today.
The French outfit unveiled the RS17, the first full blown Renault since their return. Last seasons car was a re hashed version of the 2015 Lotus redesigned to take the Renault powerplant. Lotus had been running Mercedes engines before the takeover.
Renault Sport Racing president Jerome Stoll says the company has invested heavily in infrastructure and personnel. He days Renault “expects this car to deliver”. “We expect to be fifth in the championship,”
Renault Sport managing director Cyril Abiteboul says Renault has increased its headcount by 25% as the team seeks to win the world championship by 2020.
“The team is now in perfect harmony, perfect communication and it’s one group of people working together with one objective – to deliver by 2020.” said Abiteboul.
As well as new personal behind the scenes Nico Hulkenburg has joined the Enstone team to partner Jolyon Palmer while Sergey Sirotkin joins as reserve driver. German Hulkenburg will be hoping to take advantage of being with a fully fledged manufacturer in his attempt to lead the team forward and up the championship. Last season Renault finished 9th in the constructors title race.
There is also change in fuel and lubricants as well with Castrol/BP replacing Esso. Infiniti also have a big precense on the car after being with Red Bull before. The car company has strong links to Renault and have been responsible for the ERS re design for this season.
Alain Prost also joins the side in an advisor role and he confirmed he will be in Barcelona for the first test.
Eventually the stage was clear for the new car to finally be unveiled. A stricking yellow and black colour scheme was unveiled to the waiting public. The car also sports the thumb nose tip and shark fin that are expected to be seen on most cars this season as well as the new aggressive rear wing and wider tyres.
With new regulations, new engine design and new personal both in the car and behind the scenes the future seems bright for Renault. But will it bring them a title by 2020 as they are hoping for? It’s going to be an interesting year for Renault this season.