Here's Renault Sport F1's New Race Car For 2017

With a totally new set of aero regulations, the scope is very much there for any team to get it badly right or wrong.

Joining Hulkenberg will be Jolyon Palmer, starting his second season with the Enstone racers.

Ten years after its last world title, Renault returned to F1 as a constructor in 2016 but endured a tough season as the legacies of its late Lotus takeover hampered development of the ageing RS16 package.

"So it's very important we go back to a normal performance, even if we know its much, much, much too soon to beat the top teams".

"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 vehicle - and we hope to make more or less an equivalent step over the course of the season". This implies that the Renault engineers may have finally split the turbine and compressor - which makes for great packaging advantages over the conventional joint housing because of the way the inlet and cooling pipes can follow a shorter route. I've been there, done it, very fortunate to win it and lucky. Race by race we've got an introduction of new parts. We are the fastest growing F1 team and we now need to prove our performance on track.

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Compared to the Enstone challenge, the fact that Viry's engine was perhaps a couple of tenths down on that of Mercedes was not of overwhelming importance.

Hulkenberg was wary of raising hopes too high, at least until the vehicle has run for the first time in testing in Spain next week. 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. I had to put on some muscle from where I was last year, and this means a little bit more weight and a little more focus on upper body strength, whereas last year was all about leaning down as much as I could.

Renault - who have secured a number of new partners over the winter - are far from immune to that shift, and have been working along similar lines with Microsoft for the past five years. It was a stressful situation and there was friction between Renault Sport MD Cyril Abiteboul and racing director Ferderic Vasseur who felt that he was insufficiently empowered to do his job of running the team.

"What is important is that Renault can be competitive and win as soon as possible".

  • Ismael Montgomery