Date: 19th December 2016 at 9:58am
Written by:

2016 was always going to be a season of transition for Renault.

The takeover of the Lotus team dragged on throughout the 2015 Formula One World Championship season and by the time the French manufacturer had completed their takeover and return to the sport as a fully fledged manufacturer, there was limited time remaining to develop the car for 2016.

Apart from whipping out the Mercedes power-unit in favour of a Renault one, there was little or no development done.

Renault scored points just three times in 2016, twice via Kevin Magnussen and once from Jolyon Palmer.

‘I won’t be sad to see the back of this car,’ Renault trackside director of operations Alan Permane told Autosport.

‘It is mentally tough to go into each race weekend with higher expectations than you know you’re going to achieve, and then battle every week to get out of Q1.

But next season it’s all change.

In the driving seat remains Palmer, but incoming is 2015 Le Mans winner Nico Hulkenberg.

There is also investment at the factory, personnel is increasing by 20%, Rob White has moved from Viry-Ch√Ętillon to the UK as operations director and Ciaron Pilbeam returning to Enstone as chief race engineer.

The improved infrastructure will be key to Renault’s development.

Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul told motorsport.com: ?2016 was always about laying the foundations for the future as we are committed to Formula 1 for the long haul,?

He continued: ?In terms of facilities, we are significantly increasing our on-site CNC machining capacity with two new machines in a dedicated building, a new spray and preparation facility is currently being built and we will shortly start extending our main factory building by approximately 800m2 to house the expansion of almost every department at Enstone.

?At Viry-Chatillon we?ve been working on the structure with a process of further evolution to the changes started in the recent past.

‘This has meant adapting the structure to change from a power unit supplier to part of a full manufacturer entry in addition to continuing as a supplier to other parties, as well as targeted headcount expansion for better control of our skills and talents.?


The changes will not provide instant success, but it is a sign that Renault are committed to a long-term project within Formula One.

Their power-unit showed great improvement during 2016 with Red Bull Racing able to leapfrog Ferrari in the constructors championship.

What can Renault do in 2017 with their very own package?

 

Your Comment