Renault F1’s big reveal is rather a sham


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 car ‘colour’ way… What is the matter with these bloody teams? “.

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…

12 responses to “Renault F1’s big reveal is rather a sham

  1. So it’s last year’s Lotus with last year’s Renault engine. They will be this year’s back markers after which Abiteboul will be fired.

    • I recall last time Renault entered, 2001? They looked like a complete mess for the first two years, then won a race in 2003 and 2004, then took the championship in 2005-2006

      Lets hope they have a similar philosophy this time and build the team up rather than expect wins from day one.

  2. Reminds me of the early Sauber testing liveries. Early 90s that is. Matt black also adds to a pretty decent livery. Not a fantastic one, but fairly decent.

  3. Wonder when the ‘B spec’ will be introduced. Lotus was broke and probably didn’t develop a new car on time similar to Force India last year. New nose, new paint, wait and see.

  4. I think it’s nothing special to hide your real car until the first test.
    However I wouldn’t be surprised if they keep it hidden even more 🙂

    Good that the team acknowledges the major input provided by their development driver. I mean she must play a really important role in the team, since all those camera’s keep her in the limelight.

    Poor girl had to watch Maldonado crash all her work into a wall / other car / guardrail all year long.

    She must have a really strong character to keep on smiling like that.

  5. isn’t it rather pointless? to have a reveal that is not a reveal. it’s not the car. it’s not the livery and black is not a colour. i’m with darren heath on this. i drive a black car and it looks excellent but an F1 car should look very very different. under the presentation lights etc etc etc and a yellow platform belies what a similar car would look like on an overcast day on a black tarmac. as i say….all rather pointless.

  6. At least they have some kind of formal launch. It looks very dull, the car and the event, but at least they took the effort to do something. Instead of a shameful rollout of a car from the garage which enters the pits smoking and with a broken gearbox a lap later.

  7. I don’t know why you need to call it a sham in the headline, when they weren’t even trying to hide the fact, that this isn’t the final 2016 car. Nick Chester the technical director and the managing director Cyril Abiteboul said during the launch:

    “It will look similar, but this is a livery car,” Chester told reporters during the event.
    “What you are looking at today is more frankly a show car, to be honest. The car is in production. The fire-up is next week.”

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