By Daniel Wilson.
Renault have become the first F1 team to provide a glimpse of the car they’ll be competing with on their return to the sport this year.
The predominately black livery with tints of yellow is a new look from the car that many Renault fans will be used to.
The team confirmed their return to the grid in December after buying the Lotus team at the end of last season following rising debts at Enstone.
It’s the first time the French team have competed in the sport since 2010 and the new boss is hoping to emulate the successes of 2005 and 2006, when Fernando Alonso won back to back world championships there.
Jerome Stoll said Renault had the “budget, the talent and the people” to win, but admitted achieving that would be hard, especially with the dominance of Mercedes continuing.
For now, the team’s objective is podiums in their first three seasons. And it’s not only the team and the car that’s changed.
The driver line up is an interesting one too. The 2014 GP2 Champion Jolyon Palmer is making his F1 debut in Australia following a number of practice sessions for the Lotus team last season.
Joining him is former McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen. The danish driver was dropped from the Woking based team after one year, despite finishing second on his debut in Australia 2014.
His return to the sport has meant the departure of Pastor Maldonado. The Venezuelan driver was with the team for two of his five years in F1, and took a memorable victory for Williams at the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix.
However, in recent years, he has built a reputation up after being involved in a number of race accidents – even resulting in nicknames like ‘Crashtor’ Maldonado.
I for one am interested to see what Renault can do in 2016 and beyond, and am excited to see another British driver on the grid, especially one who deserves to be there.
It was also nice to hear of Kevin Magnussen’s return because he never got to show his full potential in a McLaren car that was under-performing two years ago, and it’ll be interesting to see how he settles in at Renault.
However, I don’t think results will be coming their way very quickly. The frustration of Red Bull towards the team’s engines has been blinding to the world, and the continued dominance of Mercedes and now Ferrari seems to be setting a trend against the French company.