Renault Sport Racing’s launch of its new 2020 Formula 1 car in Paris saw the company’s president Jérôme Stoll confidently looking to the future of the team in the championship.
“This year, Renault will continue its very proud and long-standing history in Formula 1 into a new decade, our sixth consecutive in the sport,” he said.
“2020 is a significant year in a number of ways. We aim to recapture the positive momentum from our first three years since returning to Formula 1 while preparing for next season, which will represent a new cycle for all teams.”
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Stoll’s comments came as part of the 2020 season opener event held on the Champs-Elysees, Paris held at Groupe Renault’s flagship L’Atelier Renault store.
But at the same time Stoll was also looking further ahead to 2021, when a raft of technical, sporting and organisational changes across F1 will come into effect and offer all teams the opportunity to gain ground on their rivals.
It couldn’t come at a better time for the team, which is coming to the end of a crucial consolidation phase of its F1 programme since returning to the sport in 2016 with the takeover of the struggling Lotus F1 squad.
Since then there has been extensive investment in personnel and state of the art technology across its chassis base in Enstone, United Kingdom, and the engine headquarters in Viry-Châtillon, France.
The team has also successfully attracted the backing of sponsors and partners including BP Castrol, MAPFRE, DuPont, INFINITI, Microsoft, EURODATACAR, Bell&Ross, le coq sportif, and RCI Bank and Services.
“Having completed our initial construction phase, we are more determined than ever to be ready to attack and take advantage of the 2021 technical changes,” Stoll stated.
“I have every faith in the teams across Enstone and Viry to challenge once more for fourth in the constructors championship this year, plus ensure the coming era is anticipated successfully for both the team and Renault brand.”
Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul concurred with Stoll’s thoughts and expectations for the future of the French squad. “2020 is also a pivotal year that marks the end of one cycle and the preparatory phase of another.
“This year must see us setting the best possible course for the major regulation changes of 2021,” he explained. “The organisational changes made in the second half of 2019 are with this firmly in mind.”
Among the organisational changes made within the team structure were the departure of chassis technical director Nick Chester.
His replacement, former McLaren, Ferrari, Manor Racing, and Benetton engineer Pat Fry, was present at Wednesday’s event along with other senior Renault figures including Alain Prost, Marcin Budkowski and Rémi Taffin.
Abiteboul hopes that the new set-up will allow the team to reclaim ‘best of the rest’ honours at the head of the midfield, after losing out to engine customer team McLaren in 2019.
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He said that they had to do more “to maximise our chances each race weekend during this unprecedented long and challenging season.
“For the coming season, we must respect the three priorities identified during the off-season,” he continued.
“Reliability from the get-go; ensure a high level of development very early in the season; and have a good conversion rate on track.”
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