Renault has revealed the new RS19 Formula 1 car that it hopes will allow it to close the gap to the top three teams in 2019.
With new driver Daniel Ricciardo coming in alongside Nico Hulkenberg, Renault has faith that the ongoing improvements to its infrastructure and staffing levels will pay dividends in allowing it to keep up the progress it has made since it returned to F1.
“We feel ready, we feel it is the right time to show you all what has been going on in the background of the last three years and are extremely proud of,” said team boss Cyril Abiteboul.
“When you walk around Enstone you feel the passion and dedicated to racing.
“The first phase of the plan was regeneration as you have seen. You will see pretty much every single area of the factory has been improved if not completely transformed, from wind tunnel instrumentation, manufacturing, milling machines, clean room, race bays, every single area improved in order to compete on the same level as the best.
“In Viry it has been a bit more tactical, some recruitment here or there, some equipment we will be commissioning in a few weeks, a brand new state-of-the-art dyno fully compatible with the 2021 regulations, plus a new building venture that should come out of the ground in 2020.
“Hopefully by 2020 we should get there with brand new engine workshop. We’ve invested a lot in Enstone and we ill be investing in Viry.”
The Enstone-based outfit finished fourth in the constructors’ championship last year, but is under no illusions about the performance gulf that still remains to Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull ahead of it.
Renault has been aggressive with the development push for the black and yellow RS19, leaving the sign off of parts as late as possible in a bid to maximise development time.
While that means it is having to work flat out to ensure the car is ready for testing next week, it is hopeful that there will be performance benefits.
The car also features what Renault believes is a much-improved F1 engine, with a new design building on the promise of last year’s C-spec power unit that Red Bull used at the end of the 2018 season.