Renault have launched their striking 2018 car, the RS18, as the team aim to take the next step towards the front of Formula 1.
Into the third year of their return to team ownership, Renault are looking to build on the progress which saw them finish in sixth place in 2017. The RS18 features a revised black and yellow livery along with “an improved suspension concept and greater aerodynamic downforce” as the team aim to cure the weaknesses of its predecessor.
“We are a team on the rise,” declared Renault Sport president Jerome Stoll.
“We have two very talented drivers who are hungry for results. Enstone is regenerated and the workforce has already increased by more than 35%. I am convinced year three will take us one step closer to the long-term aim: winning races and challenging for championships.”
Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz form the team’s highly-rated driver line-up, with the latter starting his first full season at Enstone after joining for the final four races of last season.
Renault are not targeting a title challenge until 2020, but want to start scoring podiums again from this season.
“Our headline target is to show continued progression through results,” said team boss Cyril Abiteboul.
“We want to be able to showcase our progression in every regard; power unit, chassis, operations, drivers. Everything must improve and we must continue to grow.
“We want to demonstrate this in many different ways, from the teams we will be directly racing against, to the gap to the leaders, including also our fan base and the respect that our team will inspire in our way we behave on and off track.”
The Enstone team last finished on the podium in 2015 when under the Lotus name.
Renault: Four fast facts
- The Enstone team’s win in the 2013 Australian GP was the last non-Mercedes, Red Bull or Ferrari success in F1
- No driver in F1 history has started more races than Nico Hulkenberg without finishing on the podium
- This is Renault’s third different spell as a Formula 1 team owner
- Renault improved by more positions than any team in the 2017 Constructors’ Championship, three
Since buying back the team they once owned two years ago, Renault have invested heavily in the team’s workforce and facilities and made tangible progress last term with the RS17. Staff numbers are back up beyond 600 after dwindling under previous owners Genii.
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Renault’s progress in 2018 is set to be directly measured against Red Bull and McLaren, who are both running the French manufacturer’s engine.
The company’s engine was beset by reliability problems last year with team chief Abiteboul admitting they “played with fire” by chasing performance in an attempt to catch up with Mercedes and Ferrari.
More to follow…
2018 car unveilings and launch dates Team Date Car/Location Haas February 14 VF-18 Williams February 15 FW41 Red Bull February 19 RB14 Sauber February 20 C37 Renault February 20 Online Mercedes February 22 Silverstone Ferrari February 22 Online McLaren February 23 TBC Toro Rosso February 26 Barcelona Force India To be confirmed
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