After its track debut at Jerez testing last week in interim livery, Renault officially launched the striking new colours of the R27 in Amsterdam on January 24th. Along with new title sponsor ING the team unveiled the new car, displaying dark...
After its track debut at Jerez testing last week in interim livery, Renault officially launched the striking new colours of the R27 in Amsterdam on January 24th. Along with new title sponsor ING the team unveiled the new car, displaying dark blue front and rear wings and the body predominantly yellow on the nose, white around the cockpit and orange at the rear.
Along with the unusual colour scheme, which is actually not too bad once you get over the initial surprise, the R27 is said to be an evolution of Renault's championship winning cars of 2005 and 2006. The aero is a step forward in efficiency and the seven speed gearbox is an 'instantaneous gearchange' developed with the Bridgestone tyres in mind.
"The aerodynamic packaging is even more sophisticated than in previous years, while the gains from our new gearbox have been significant on track," said technical director Bob Bell.
"We have kept the mechanical configuration of the suspension consistent in order to understand as thoroughly as possible the demands of the new Bridgestone Potenza tyres. We made a successful start to the adaptation process in the latter stages of 2006, and this will continue up to the first race."
"Everybody is expecting an extremely competitive season in 2007, and we are confident that our proven track record of world championship success will prove a considerable asset in that battle. The team is hungry to continue winning, and the R27 reflects that determination."
The RS27 engine has, obviously, been designed in line with the FIA's engine homologation regulations. "Our development work has been conducted within the framework of the new rules and although the engine will be called RS27, it contains just 10% new parts -- compared to over 95% in previous years," said engine deputy manager Rob White.
"However, it remains one of the most advanced competition engines in the world, operating in an extreme environment, with tiny margins for error. As always, our goal will be to achieve the only acceptable objective for a topline Formula One engine: zero-defect reliability. We have worked hard to blend this with competitive performance for the season ahead."
2007 is Giancarlo Fisichella's third year with the team and this season, due to the departure of champion Fernando Alonso, he is partnered by rookie Heikki Kovalainen, who was official test and third driver in 2006. Renault believes that the combination of Fisichella's experience and Kovalainen's young talent will keep up the team's winning ways.
"The spirit of the team is strong after two fantastic seasons, and we are feeling optimistic," said Fisichella. "The team has shown its confidence in me for the new season, and I am determined to repay that in the best way possible, out on track. The team knows how to design winning cars capable of fighting for the championship. That means there is a fantastic opportunity for me this year, and I am determined to make the most of it."
Kovalainen, naturally, is excited about his impending first season. "It is a big privilege for a rookie driver to start his career in a race-winning car, and I am focused on doing it justice," the Finn commented. This will be a season where I have a lot to learn, and I need to keep mistakes to a minimum."
"There will be pressure, but that will come from me, because I always drive myself to improve in every area. Overall, I am expecting 2007 to be a fantastic year for me. I am in the best possible place to start my career, and my focus is on preparing as thoroughly as possible for the first race - and the sixteen to come after that."
Despite the loss of Alonso and other changes, such as the switch to Bridgestone tyres, managing director Flavio Briatore was adamant that 2007 will not be a 'transitional' year for Renault. "We have always said that the team is what matters, and that success comes from the team spirit that unites us," he remarked. "2007 is a fantastic opportunity to prove exactly that."
"There are some big changes for this season, not just at Renault but throughout the grid. We believe in our choices, and we are confident that they will help us achieve more success in 2007. It will be a year of tough competition at every level. Those are the conditions that allow the best teams to shine, and that is exactly what we intend to do."
RenaultF1 President Alain Dassas said the team's world championship successes had earned its place as a 'major force' in F1. "Consecutive double championships are concrete proof that Renault can win in a demanding environment where success demands quality, technical excellence and reliability," he stated.
"We must now live up to that reputation. The team will present a fresh face to the world with the arrival of ING as our new title partner, and we are proud to welcome this major, global financial institution to Formula One. But on track, our challenge will remain the same: we will be asking our technical teams and drivers to make Renault a championship contender in 2007."
R27 technical specifications
Chassis: Moulded carbon fibre and aluminium honeycomb composite monocoque, manufactured by the Renault F1 Team and designed for maximum strength and stiffness with minimum weight. Engine installed as a fully-stressed member.
Front suspension: Carbon fibre top and bottom wishbones operate an inboard rocker via a pushrod system. This is connected to a torsion bar and damper units which are mounted at the front of the monocoque
Rear suspension: Carbon fibre top and bottom wishbones operating vertically-mounted torsion bars and horizontally-mounted damper units mounted on the top of the gearbox casing.
Transmission: Seven-speed semi-automatic titanium gearbox with one reverse gear. Instantaneous gearchange system for maximum performance.
Fuel system: Kevlar-reinforced rubber fuel cell by ATL.
Cooling system: Separate oil and water radiators located in the car's sidepods and cooled using airflow from the car's forward motion
Electrical: Integrated Step 11 chassis/engine electronics and software co-developed by Renault F1 Team
and Magneti Marelli.
Braking system: Carbon discs and pads (Hitco); calipers by AP Racing
Removable driver’s seat made of anatomically formed carbon composite, with six-point harness seat belt. Steering wheel integrates gear change and clutch paddles.
Car dimensions and weight
Front track 1450 mm
Rear track 1400 mm
Wheelbase 3100 mm
Overall length 4800 mm
Overall height 950 mm
Overall width 1800 mm
Overall weight 605 kg, with driver, camera and ballast.
RS27 V8 Engine
Capacity: 2400 cc
Architecture: 90° V8
Weight: 95 kg
Max RPM: 19,000 rpm
Spark plugs: Champion
ECU: Magneti Marelli Step 11
Battery: Renault F1 Team