At yesterday’s launch of the Renault F1 car that will never run, the F1 media were hungry for copy after the long winter hibernation (well 9 and a bit weeks since the last race in Abu Dhabi). Nissan- Renault Group chairman Carlos Ghosn did not disappoint.
Having revealed the team’s driver line up as being Jolyon Palmer and a returning Kevin Magnussen, Mr. Ghosn was candid when asked about the ambition of the team and their owner. “Would I like to sign Alonso? Of course”, said Ghosn. “But that is not my responsibility. That responsibility lies with the team and I support their decisions.
“I’ve made a lot of friends over the years we’ve been involved in Formula One. We’ve met plenty of talented drivers and Fernando is one of the very best in the field. He is undoubtedly one of the finest competitors on the current grid.”
Fernando Alonso had a torrid time in 2015 having signed for McLaren who were renewing a historic partnership with Honda. The Spaniard has a three year contract with the Woking team and has suggested he will retire from F1 when it ends.
Many believe Alonso has been the finest driver of this generation, yet he remains a mere two times drivers’ world champion whilst Hamilton and Vettel have overtaken him with three and four drivers’ titles respectively.
That’s a nice vote of confidence for his new driver lineup on the same day they launch their new/fake car….
I know. Can you imagine Palmer or Magnussen faces if they heard that live?
I can imagine this will come up again when the drivers do their press meeting.
The elephant in the room. “Yeah, we have two driver, but we’d really like a good one.”
I think they are both smart enough to know and understand that Mr.Gs comment is a fact, not a smear on their abilities or character! Are you telling me that if you was staring a new team for next season you would choose K-Mag or Jo-Lo as your No1 driver over Fer-Al? #:)
It wasnt a launch of the car – it was a launch of the team!
Given the huge technical challenges involved in converting the fitment of the Mercedes engine to the Renault engine, does anyone seriously think that the actual car would be present at a media event so early before testing?
No…. this was a high profile media event, designed and executed to raise the profile and spread some good news of the company, the team and the sport…. something which many “commentators” would do well to listen to
The car used at the launch event is a show car that’s been put together with various different bits. The image Renault released is the car they’ll be using at the winter tests (I’m sure people will pour over that image and images from the first test), dubbed the RS16 I believe. It’s the packaging of the PU into the car that’s the main issue, the mounting points are I believe specified by the FIA.
Renault had to do the relaunch of the team ahead of the First Winter tests as otherwise they’d not get the media spotlight on them for very long. I don’t think it really matters if they didn’t have the actual RS16 on show at the media event. I’ll take a guess and say given the changes looming in 2017, Renault may have decided to switch focus to the 2017 car already. 2016 is probably going to be a woeful one (especially if Honda have got their various issues sorted) but a useful one for gathering data for use in 2017 when the token system is gone.
Speaking of gathering data …
I wonder if Renault got hold of the Merc PU before Lotus pulled Maldonado’s engine out of the car and sent it back to the factory for a low mileage refund. 😉
They’ve been so far behind ever since the start of the Hybrid era, it could be the ONLY way Renault gets a ‘leg-up’ in the software and electrical unit areas for their 2017 PUs!
Along with Bob Bell.
“We’re getting the band back together….”
Things don’t look good.
Michael Schumacher: Formula One Racer’s Ex-Boss Comments on Driver’s Condition
“I have news and unfortunately it is not good,” Schumacher’s former Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo said. He didn’t elaborate.
This really winds me up – all that halfwit Montezemelo has done is feed the speculation machine without saying anything concrete – he should be utterly ashamed of himself.