Renault launches its 2017 F1 beaut….
The Enstone based outfit revealed their 2017 F1 challenger, the R.S.17 today in London. Unlike its predecessor which was a 2015 Lotus F1 car rebadged in yellow Renault livery, the R.S.17 is a huge leap forward in terms of design and evolution. According to the team, it will also be powered with a superior and improvised Renault engine. The french works outfit expect performance gains of 0.3 seconds per lap and the rest will be made up with aero and other factors. They have set a target for fifth place in the Constructor’s standings which is ambitious knowing McLaren, Williams and Force India will be in the fight for the same place too. Reports from Red Bull and Enstone suggest that a large reason for their boost in confidence have been the huge strides made at their headquarters in Viry Chatillion in France, where the engine is being developed. Engine Chief, Remy Taffin has said that the new engine is 95% different from the old one, and has been radically upgraded. According to their newly recruited star driver Nico Hulkenberg the goal is ‘ambitious but doable’.
A new addition aboard the Renault ship is former three-time F1 World Champion Alain Prost, who will be stepping into an advisory role. The Frenchman has previously run his own team in F1 and was an ambassador for Renault before it made its return as a works team. With Frederic Vasseur gone, Alain’s inputs might play a key role in steering Cyril Abiteboul’s dominion into the right direction. The french team has also appointed a new reserve driver Sergie Sirotkin, a former Williams reserve and GP2 driver who will be seen at the tests and FP sessions before the races.
Coming to the car, last year’s car was completely yellow with undertones of black on the livery, but this year the car has a dash of its signature yellow livery at the front coupled with overtones of black. However, the car looks aggressive and is a beauty so far. At the front, the thumb tipped nose and reshaped front wing are similar to the last two cars (Williams and Sauber). The central fin on the engine cover is also a feature that will be seen on most of the cars this year. But a over the head shot of the car reveals its length and gives a general idea of the length of this years cars. The black overtones of the livery are camouflaging a lot of its key features from its rivals. A picture of comparison between the 2016 F1 car and 2017 one shows the width and the reshaped rear of the new car. The differences in the width and shape of the wings can also be noticed in the picture below.
How realistic is their goal?
Looking at the badging of sponsors on the car, it is obvious a larger budget and improvisation Viry have changed the course of their fortunes, in comparison to last year which was their debut year on returning as a works outfit. This year the livery features its key sponsors which are Infiniti, MAPFRE, Microsoft, watch maker Bell & Ross, Sergie Sirotkin’s backer SMP racing and their fuel supplier BP Castrol. A different lubricant and fuel supplier might play key to its performance as there is fuel and lubricants war brewing in the hindsight this year. Renault’s customer team, Red Bull has tied up with ExxonMobil as their fuel partner and think they will be getting the edge. A key edge they have this year is their chassis is definitely more integrated with the engine and they have had 15 months to work on the car. It will be interesting how Renault gets thrown into the mix with Force India, Williams and McLaren who will be fighting for that same fifth place. Knowing this year is ground zero for most teams in the aero departments, one can expect Renault to have luck, but the initial performance analysis can only be made after the first test.
P.S: Do not forget to notice their driver overalls ;P
Here are more images of the R.S.17:
Coming up next: Sahara Force India