Renault became the fifth team to unveil its new car for the 2018 Formula 1 season, launching the R.S.18 online on Tuesday.
The car is the third chassis produced at Enstone since Renault’s return to F1 as a full constructor in 2016, with the team describing the car as “a progression and refinement of the concepts developed during the 2017 season. It includes an improved suspension concept and greater aerodynamic downforce”.
With the team having shown strong car development during 2017 while also undergoing further expansion of its workforce and facilities, Renault Sport Racing president Jerome Stoll is confident the latest car will see the French constructor continue to close the gap to the top three teams.
“Renault Sport Formula 1 Team’s ambition is clearly to uphold the outstanding record of the past and the 2017 season has confirmed we are on the right track,” Stoll said. “We are a team on the rise. We have two very talented drivers who are hungry for results. Enstone is regenerated and the workforce has already increased by more than 35 percent.
“Our investment has so far been successfully translated to the track as we rose from ninth to sixth in the Constructors’ Championship in 2017 and ended the year with the fourth-fastest car.
“The success of the program in just two years is testament to the resilient plan laid down early in the creation of the team and the strong job done by Cyril [Abiteboul] and the entire Renault Sport Racing teams. I am convinced year three will take us one step closer to the long-term aim: winning races and challenging for championships.”
Renault Sport Racing’s managing director Abiteboul says the improvement during 2017 was clear to see, and gives the team momentum heading into the new season.
“Last year was successful in many ways,” Abiteboul said. “It was the second year in our rebuilding and a further step towards our long-term plans and aims. 2016 was all about recruiting, investing, bringing in new sponsors, new talents and building our brand.
“Over the past year I’ve seen progression in many areas: ninth to sixth in the standings – in many races we were often the fourth-fastest team on the grid. This is a testament to our drive, commitment and adherence to a very ambitious plan. It was a quantified progression towards what we want to become and challenging the top teams.”
Renault will retain a driver line-up of Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz in 2018, while also promoting F2 rookie Jack Aitken to the role of third and reserve driver and recruiting Russian F2 race-winner Artem Markelov as test and development driver.
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