Renault have become the first team to reveal their 2016 Formula One car – the RS16.
Well, not exactly. The car is a rehashed version of the E23 and as SommersF1 notes, the nose is the one the defunct Lotus team took to the 2015 Abu Dhabi GP, but never fitted.
Jerome Stoll stated the predominantly black livery would be the one we will see through the two winter tests in Barcelona, but that the livery will change for the first race in Melbourne: “It will be equally elegant, but maybe not black.”
The response on social media to the Renault livery was polarised, though well known @F1photographer – Darren Heath was less than impressed. “Another dull
#F1 car ‘colour’ way… What is the matter with these bloody teams? #RenaultF1“.
So the car and livery are not exactly the bona fide RS16.
Cyril Abiteboul insisted, “We are not here to make up the numbers, we are here to win.”
Renault-Nissan Alliance partner Infiniti remains in Formula One and alongside Renault and will enhance its involvement through a specific technology program developing the second generation of energy recovery systems (ERS) for the F1 power unit. Total also remain as a sponsor and fluids supplier.
New partnerships with other prestigious brands were announced, including the standard for an F1 team… a premium watch supplier, Bell & Ross. Others include the inventor of ‘revolutionary audio systems’, Devialet, clothing company Bestseller as well as continuing relationships with the F1 team’s current partners, including Microsoft and EMC.
The expected key appointments to the team were also confirmed with Bob Bell appointed F1 Chief Technical Officer and will manage the efforts of Nick Chester as Chassis Technical Director and Rémi Taffin as Engine Technical Director. Interestingly, Gerard Lopez remains a non-executive of the team as Renault retain a relationship with Gravity Motorsports (an affiliate of the Genii Capital Group), which will retain a minority shareholding in the F1 team.
Renault have alternated between being an F1 engine supplier and running a full team since they joined the sport in 1977. In that time, Renault powered cars have won more GPs than any other engine manufacturer and as a team Renault have won two constructor titles and two driver titles with Fernando Alonso.
Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen were presented as the race drivers together with Esteban Ocon who will be the team’s “third AND reserve” driver. Ocon was previously with the Mercedes young driver programme and many believe to be a superstar in the making. Ocon is the reigning GP3 champion and in 2014 he dominated the F3 championship beating Tom Blomqvist and Max Verstappen with nine wins during the season.
For those concerned the 2016 races will be a dull Mercedes parade, Renault reveal their plan. By popular demand it appears Carmen Jordá will once again grace our TV screens during F1 weekends and further the dedicated FOM cameraman knows his job is safe for another year…
To our many followers who have a vested interest in a certain development driver we featured in 2015, she’s here 🙂 pic.twitter.com/y6azhnGfzQ
— Renault Sport F1 (@RenaultSportF1) February 3, 2016