The first all-Renault car raced in 1977 and the team gained limited success in the early eighties before withdrawing from F1 by 1986. In 1988 Renault returned as an engine supplier, doing great things with Williams and Benetton in the nineties; ...
The first all-Renault car raced in 1977 and the team gained limited success in the early eighties before withdrawing from F1 by 1986. In 1988 Renault returned as an engine supplier, doing great things with Williams and Benetton in the nineties; winning six Constructors' titles.
Early in 2000 Renault bought the Benetton F1 team; 2001 was a transition period while they adjusted and settled in; now they are ready for the 2002 season as Mild Seven Renault F1.
At today's launch of the R202, Jean-Jacques His, Managing Director Renault F1 France, spoke about how he and his engine team had worked on development through 2001 to lower the centre of gravity on the power unit. The concept hopes to improve the overall performance of the car and 2002 will be a year of progress.
"This season we will introduce new concepts," said His. "It is not a completely new engine, and uses the same architectural philosophy as last year, but there are major improvements for 2002. Having worked on achieving a high level of reliability in 2001, this year we will concentrate on ultimate performance. It takes more than one and a half years for a new engine to reach a satisfactory level of development and, now that we have acquired this experience, we will be more capable of responding to the needs of the chassis team by supplying them with a competitive unit."
Technical Director, Renault F1 UK, Mike Gascoyne joined Renault just over a year ago and the design process for the R202 began.
"Re-entering Formula One as a works team is a core strategic decision for Renault," he said. "We are here to deliver, but I think the senior management are also aware of the amount of time we need."
Gascoyne believes the mechanical design has always been reliable; the chassis team have concentrated on aerodynamics for 2002 and there is an extensive wind tunnel programme scheduled to develop the new car.
"We took time to put the aerodynamic and research programmes in place," said Gascoyne. "They started delivering dramatically at the end of 2001 but what you saw at the end of last year was just the start of this process, and it will bring us real benefits this year."
Drivers Jarno Trulli and Jenson Button are looking forward to gaining points this year and hopefully a few podiums.
"For the first time I'm in a top team which has won the championship, and is clearly back to do it again," said Trulli. "It's a great opportunity for me and I really want to go for it!"
On the car Trulli commented:
"It looks quite conservative, but there are a lot of up-to-date innovations."
Button is optimistic for reasonable success, saying:
"I think we can get good results and even get on the podium a few times."
Renault official release.