Renault is on track with the production of its 2020 car, and even ahead of schedule in comparison to last year, despite not presenting the RS20 at its launch event in Paris on Wednesday.
A season launch was held at Renault’s flagship store on the Champs Elysees, featuring senior management, drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon and the members of its driver academy. During the event, a number of teaser computer images were released showing specific angles of the new car, with managing director Cyril Abiteboul explaining the actual car is still being built.
“It’s in bits and going to Barcelona,” Abiteboul said. “Rather than showing you a show car that is slightly altered in order to look like a 2020 car, we decided just to show you renders and if you are there you get to see the actual car in Barcelona next week.”
While it is not yet ready, the car is understood to be on schedule to carry out a shakedown and filming day in Barcelona on Monday ahead of the start of pre-season testing on Feb. 19, with Ocon set to drive.
Abiteboul believes the car build is ahead of schedule compared to recent years, with the team facing a race against time to be ready 12 months ago.
“If anything, we are much more on schedule than we were last year. You might remember last year we invited you guys (media) to come to Enstone and actually I mentioned how late we were. That was a fact and probably something that impacted reliability at the season start, because when you are late you are reacting and it’s all about trying to catch a train that’s gone anyway.
“So we are ahead of schedule. But frankly, after last year and other years, I read what you write but I also read what people say about what you write and the pictures that we post, and I got extremely frustrated from people already reacting to the car that they think they see, but actually nobody is capable of presenting a car. If you optimize your schedule you don’t have a car waiting here for a couple of hours or days. Your car is built and you go straight to Barcelona — that is what is an optimized schedule.
“On that basis, our only option is to have fake cars — show cars — altered to look like this year’s car. For me it’s a waste of money and the result will always be below optimal and people will always interpret based on that. So rather than that, no car. For anyone interested in the car, look at the pictures next week!”