The hybrid era of Formula 1 started in 2014 with Mercedes having the upper hand and dominating the next 3 years. One team that has struggled in this era has been Renault. After the humiliating performance of the Renault power unit and constant public criticism by Red Bull Racing in 2014 and 2015, they had two options. To leave the sport completely by stopping its supply to customer teams and withdraw from F1. Or to put all its money into F1 and return as a works team to show how committed they are to the sport which would also improve their brand.
They finished 9th in the constructors’ in 2016, their first year since their return. They will be looking to mount a better challenge this year.
Renault today revealed their car for 2017, the RS 17. The livery is almost same as last year with a lot more black to go with the new design. The thumb-tip nose still exists with no S-duct seen on the car. The tea tray has been cleverly covered, considering it may be a differentiating factor between good and average teams.
The shark fin returns as we’ve seen on the Sauber and Williams as well. The sidepods are of similar dimension and so are the barge boards. The air intake is quite different to what we’ve seen on the other two cars.
The car was unveiled by its 2017 driver line up, Jolyon Palmer and Nico Hulkenberg. They also announced today that Sergey Sirotkin will be their reserve driver this year. After enjoying a lot of success with Renault in Formula E, Alain Prost was named Special Advisor to Renault Sport Racing.
Pete Machin is set to take up the role of Head of aerodynamics at Renault. He’ll be moving over from Red Bull Racing, where he’s said to have played a major role in the championship winning cars. A lot of positive changes happening at Renault for 2017. Renault would hope these changes give them more success. After having a disastrous season in 2016, the only way for Renault is up. Hope they can be title contenders this year.