Racing Point, Renault on track as preseason tests begin

Mark Sutton/Sutton Images/LAT

Racing Point, Renault on track as preseason tests begin

Formula 1

Racing Point, Renault on track as preseason tests begin


Racing Point and Renault both revealed their 2020 cars for the first time in public when heading out at the start of pre-season testing in Barcelona.

After launching its new livery in Austria on Monday, Racing Point was the focus of much attention as the R.S. 20 carries a significant resemblance to last year’s Mercedes W10. Racing Point uses the Mercedes power unit and gearbox but has taken a clear change in concept by following the constructors’ champions lead from 12 months ago.

Sergio Perez was first behind the wheel of the RP20 and set the second-fastest time to Valtteri Bottas during the morning session, just 0.062s separating the Mercedes and Racing Point.

There were also clear similarities between the new Haas and last year’s Ferrari, and the AlphaTauri and the 2019 Red Bull due to technical partnerships, but the Renault was the other car that stood out when it finally emerged following a quiet build-up to testing.

Esteban Ocon in the new Renault R.S. 20. Image by Mark Sutton/Sutton/LAT

Renault opted against having a car of any kind at its launch even in Paris last week and then released very few images of its R.S.20 during a filming day on Monday, but a major change to the front end was instantly visible when Esteban Ocon took to the track. A much slimmer nose is similarly following the Mercedes-optimized direction, with Ocon ending the morning fifth fastest.

Most other teams had already released images of their new cars or run them during filming days, with only Alfa Romeo still to unveil its new look. The C39 was presented in the pit lane on Wednesday morning and features a similar livery to last year, with Robert Kubica spending the morning driving what appears to the naked eye to be a largely evolutionary car.