Renault RS17 F1 Launch: 'Arms race' will stunt small teams - Abiteboul

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22 February, 2017

The Renault Formula One team unveiled their new-look 2017 vehicle on Tuesday with a target of the top five in the championship, and possible podium finishes, after struggling among the back-markers last season.

"The cars are designed this season under completely different regulations".

In fact the French outfit says that not a single part is shared between the auto it used a year ago and the one you see here, unveiled before the gathered media in London today. Last year, Renault only managed a ninth place finish in the Constructor's Championship, though to be fair, this was the Renault's first year in its return as a works program.

"That is the big question and we all hope but truthfully none of us know until we get to Melbourne", he said. "I will never change this approach to everything I do and of course, I expect to learn something from both of the race drivers and all of the team as well".

Renault engine boss Remi Taffin said a major effort had gone into the new engine, which started development in 2015 and first ran on a dyno in June ast year. On top of that, we have a new asset who will help us achieve our ambitions over the next few years: "that asset is Alain Prost [special advisor for RenaultSport Racing]". Frankly, I have been in a small team, you know that it was not super successful, but I really feel for those teams that will have to keep that resource, the regulations will be very hard for small teams.

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Also confident was Abiteboul, who said at the launch that Renault's target for the year was to finish in the points at every race. At Viry we have seen the fruits of the refinement and restructuring through the reliable step forward in performance in 2016 and we know there is more to come in 2017.

"It doesn't matter if it's from Nico and Jolyon or from any situation, there is always a lot to learn in this life", added Sirotkin. Fred Vasseur stepped away from his role of Team Principal, and former Red Bull man Pete Machin has bene recruited as Head of Aerodynamics.

Hulkenberg clarified that his decision had nothing to do with the injury sustained by Sauber's Pascal Wehrlein during the Race Of Champions in Miami in January, but stated he was "committed" to Renault becoming successful in F1.

"Last year we couldn't do what we wanted to do with the vehicle because of the previous Lotus days, now we've got a auto that's properly designed and integrated between chassis and engine".

Newer partners include BP Lubricants, who are bringing Castrol to Enstone.


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