Tuesday, February 20, 2018


Renault has become the fifth Formula 1 team to unveil its new car ahead of the 2018 season. The RS18, sporting a revised livery that features more black than yellow, is the third offering from the French manufacturer since it returned as a works team in 2016. It will be driven by Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr, who joined the team with four races to go in 2017 ahead of a full-season tilt this year.

Motor racing is an intrinsic part of the Renault DNA and from Formula E races in cities to rallying through to Formula 1, team have always achieved outstanding results. Renault Sport Formula One Team’s ambition is clearly to uphold the outstanding record of the past and the 2017 season has confirmed they are on the right track.

Where can we see the changes in 2018?
Nick: For 2018, on the chassis side, the rules are reasonably similar to 2017. The main change is halo coming in and the engine cover fin being removed. In concept, the R.S.18 is a development of the philosophy of the R.S.17 with everything we learnt last year added to it. We learnt a lot last year in terms of the aero package so there should be a lot more scope with this car.
Rémi: We finished 2017 with a strong set-up with the engine and the chassis so the main area for us is to capitalise on the latest specification of the power unit and all the progress we have made in terms of reliability. We have gone through an extensive and productive dyno programme with the R.E.18 with the target of trouble-free testing and races. We want to develop performance and also balance reliability, which in turn enables the team to develop the understanding of the car.

What are the key areas of evolution for the team in 2018?
Nick: "On the chassis side, there are substantial differences in the suspension, which should give us better ride over bumps and a little bit more predictability for the drivers. There’s a lot of aero development, not only for downforce but to have a more accessible performance envelope, meaning we have a car which is easier to put on the limit and allows the drivers to extract maximum performance."
Rémi: "It’s a clear statement that we want to deliver much more performance through the season and we’ve made that provision. There’s a clear link in between what we will keep developing with the engine and what we can do with the chassis."

What are the main changes in the power unit realm for 2018?
Rémi: "The main change in terms of regulations is that there are fewer power units available for the drivers over the season; just three each now. In fact, it’s actually more challenging than that, as we are limited to three ICE, but only two MGU-K and two energy stores!"

"Our first priority is for reliability and it’s going to be even more difficult as we have to get another quarter out of the engine life on top of the target for 2017. Of course, we knew the three engine rule was going to come, so it’s something we scaled in for 2017 in preparation for 2018. We started designing the 2018 engine in 2016 with the three engine limitation in mind and we have completed more hours on the dyno than ever before."