Renault Sport launch their 2016 F1 car

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Renault not only launched their 2016 Formula 1 car but they also took the opportunity to announce a completely revamped approach to motorsport with several new programs and appointments.

The team isn’t taking their investment in F1 or motorsport lightly and are keen to follow Mercedes with the singular focus of making their motorsport investment as road relevant as possible. Here are the details:

Renault Sport will be managed by two entities: Renault Sport Racing and Renault Sport Cars.

Renault Sport Racing will encompass all Renault’s motorsport activities, including Renault Sport Formula One Team, Renault e.dams, Formula Renault 2.0, Renault Sport R.S.01 Trophy, plus further customer racing and rallying programs. Renault Sport Racing will cover operations at the two Renault motorsport sites at Enstone, UK, and Viry–Châtillon, France.

Renault Sport Cars, an evolution of Renault Sport Technologies, will manage the development and commercialization of the Renault Sport car portfolio. Renault Sport is recognized worldwide for its excellence in hot hatches such as the Mégane R.S. and Clio R.S. as well as efficient and accessible GTs including the new Mégane GT. Renault Sport will develop its international footprint, brand appeal and portfolio growth with increased R&D investment.

Renault will use the new structure for two primary functions. Initially, it aims to promote the Renault Sport brand to a wider audience primarily using the Renault Sport Formula One Team and the global audience of F1. Secondly, it will use Formula E and racing activities such as the Clio Cup to showcase the image and design of other aspects of the Renault range such as electric vehicles.

Renault Sport Racing and Renault Sport Cars will work hand in hand to maximize technical and commercial synergies from track to road. The first demonstration of the relationship will be revealed at the Monaco Grand Prix.

CEO Carlos Ghosn said:

‘Motorsports still spark the imagination of both enthusiasts and everyday drivers, and we are putting a comprehensive program in place today. Formula 1 is a big part of our efforts to boost awareness of Renault, particularly in markets where Renault is a newcomer, and will enhance the transfer of technologies from the track to our road cars.’

To ensure the operational autonomy required to perform in the fast moving racing and high performance environment with the strategic corporate objectives and requirements of Groupe Renault, a supervisory board has been created, which will be chaired by Carlos Ghosn.

Renault Sport Racing will be headed by Jérôme Stoll as President, supported by Cyril Abiteboul as Managing Director. Frédéric Vasseur will report to the latter as Racing Director, responsible for sporting and technical matters. Renault Sport Cars will be headed by Patrice Ratti as Managing Director. Guillaume Boisseau, Groupe Renault Brands Director, will lead the marketing efforts of the group to ensure the alignment and activation of the racing programs with Renault’s marketing strategy.

Renault Sport Formula One Team announced

At the core of the racing activities will be the newly-created Renault Sport Formula One Team. The new F1 challenger consists of the Renault R.S.16 chassis, developed and manufactured in Enstone, whilst the Renault R.E.16 power unit will continue to be developed in Viry-Châtillon.

A number of key appointments have been made in the F1 team to avoid any dilution of the specific requirements of Formula One. Bob Bell is appointed F1 Chief Technical Officer and will manage the efforts of Nick Chester as Chassis Technical Director and Rémi Taffin as Engine Technical Director. Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer are confirmed as Renault Sport Formula One Team’s race drivers, and will be supported by Esteban Ocon, who joins the team as Third and Reserve Driver.

The team have suggested on Twitter that the livery color will change by the season opening race in Australia and that may be good news as much of social media traffic is ho-hum regarding the all-black livery but that’s not new as Williams have offered testing liveries only to show their new colors at the fist race so there shouldn’t be any surprise should Renault choose a similar option.

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Tom Firth

No real surprises, the big difference if is one, is that Renault F1 is now within the same banner as the rest of the Renault Sport activities whereas it was generally a separate banner in previous iterations. The rest the programmes see no major changes as far as I can tell. Besides that, the only difference is that Renault aims to expand its performance road car lineup, which is no surprise, given sister Nissan has done so significantly the last couple of years also. I don’t mind the black and yellow livery, but believe probably right in that this is… Read more »

Junipero Mariano

I wonder if pulling the plug on the Nissan LMP program had some roots in this.

MIE

I’m surprised to see Infiniti branding on the engine cover, given Renault’s complaints that they got little positive publicity from powering Red Bull to four championships.

MichaelB

At first I was too… Except given that the team name is now Renault Sport F1 that’s where the focus will be…

Infinity was Red Bull’s title sponsor, but it’s doubtful the brand will be mentioned outside of the logo’s appearance on the new car…

Tom Firth

On having Infiniti branding on the car. I get the impression personally that the aim now is for Infiniti to be based below Renault within the company structure rather than the alignment with Nissan, hence it’s position still on the Renault F1 cars as a sponsor.

Shocks&Awe

That, or it’s a concession to it’s business partner. I don’t know what the finance situation is between Renault and Nissan, but I’d assume Nissan had some say in the program…

jakobusvdl

Good spotting Dave, and a very good point. The structure of the Renault- Nissan alliance is confusing, Carlos G is CEO of both organisations, I wonder if anyone at the launch had the chance to ask him why the Nissan group continue to be represented in F1by Infiniti?

On the colour, yellow has featured strongly on sporting Renaults for decades, and is a ‘hero’ colour for the RS road cars. I’d love to see a predominantly yellow car on the grid again.

jonnowoody

That’s ’cause it’s the 2015 car.

MIE

Ah, the 2015 Lotus, the one powered by Mercedes….

With the regulations changing so little, I wonder how much change we will actually see in the 2016 car?

John The Race Fan

It’s not French Blue…

MichaelB

Renault has already hinted that this is just the livery for testing and that there’s a good chance it will be changing prior to Melbourne…

That being said, I think it’s more likely that they’ll be going yellow, not blue.

228929292AABBB

If it’s still going to be that horrible black and ‘tarnished-brass’ livery I say it might as well have Maldonado bashing around for a bankrupt team. Please Renault, please change it. Let Banksy rattle can it. ANYTHING.

Shocks&Awe

I think it’s badass. And it’s not tarnished brass, it’s Renault Yellow. By tarnished brass are you implying the Lotus’ old John Player Special livery wasn’t awesome? Them’s fightin’ words, amigo.

228929292AABBB

Well it’s definitely a matter of preference, not right and wrong, so I’ll grant you that. I had a John Player RC car as a kid and adored it, so I’m with you there. Something about these cars misses that magic for me though, I think it’s that it’s not really gold, it’s like dirty neglected gold, and now yellow, and it just doesn’t work for me. I loved the inverse, in the ‘Petrov era’. And I liked it with the splash of red a couple years ago. Also, this livery has just come to mean ‘arrogant underfunded team giving… Read more »