Renault second F1 team to launch 2017 vehicle: Big surprise announced
- Author: Marjorie Miles Feb 22, 2017,
Feb 22, 2017, 0:54
While we were officially there to take a first look at the next generation of Renault Formula One auto, there were a few moments during Renault's Tuesday launch where it felt as though the team were more excited about their statistics than they were about their 2017 challenger.
Nico Hulkenberg and Jolyon Palmer will drive the yellow and black RS17.
Renault Sport Racing president Jerome Stoll is targeting fifth place this season with their new auto and driver line-up of Palmer and Nico Hulkenberg, and hopes Prost can help them achieve that.
"In terms of performance gain we are targeting 0.3s between how we finished the last season and how we start the new season - I am just talking about engine to engine, nothing related to the rest of the auto - and we hope to make more or less an equivalent step over the course of the season".
Renault engine boss Remi Taffin said a major effort had gone into the new engine, which started development in 2015 and first ran on a dyno in June ast year. I've been there, done it, very fortunate to win it and lucky.
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The team's 2016 circumstances - notably its shortfall in rapid prototyping of parts to feed the wind tunnel at the time work began on the auto - will unavoidably have impacted upon the concept and design of the RS17. At Viry we have seen the fruits of the refinement and restructuring through the reliable step forward in performance in 2016 and we know there is more to come in 2017.
"We are joined up a strong group of partners with BP, Castrol MAPFRE and SMP Racing representing the best pre-season sponsorship acquisition campaign in the paddock". "The engine is a completely new engine, its very promising but we need to see what it does on the track". Not only do the dramatic rule changes in place this year create an opportunity to shake up the established order, but from a business point of view Renault have put some fine structures in place for the next season.
"Last year we couldn't do what we wanted to do with the vehicle because of the previous Lotus days, now we've got a auto that's properly designed and integrated between chassis and engine". These days, the approach is a symbiotic one, with linked industries working together to mutual advantage - more technical partnerships and test beds than basic promotion and exposure.
Hulkenberg insisted his transition to his new team has been a smooth one, and said he would be bringing everything he's got - including "passion, my experience, my hunger for success" - to boost Renault's F1 armoury. A new chief of aero, Pete Machin from Red Bull, will have had no input into the RS17, the aero of which has been overseen by Jon Tomlinson, who now reverts to deputy chief, both under the technical directorship of long-time Enstone stalwart Nick Chester. I know what to expect from the season ahead and I'm confident I can hit the ground running.
"What is important is that Renault can be competitive and win as soon as possible".