Renault officially unveil R24 in Sicily 29 Jan 2004
The Renault team launched their 2004 challenger, the R24, on Thursday in front of 650 assembled media and guests at the prestigious opera house, Teatro Massimo, in Palermo, Sicily. The team, who finished fourth in the 2003 constructors' championship, said their objective for the upcoming season will be to improve on last year's successful performance.
"We must look to dislodge at least one of the teams above us in the championship," announced Renault Chairman and CEO Patrick Faure. "One can no longer just talk about the top three teams: last year, we became part of the Big Four. Renault's targets for this year are, logically, placed higher, and in order to achieve them, absolute reliability will be critical. The correct steps were taken last year in order to ensure this, and we are confident we will attain this target from Melbourne onwards."
Again spearheading the team's challenge will be Fernando Alonso, who won last year's Hungarian Grand Prix, and Jarno Trulli. They will be aided by test driver Franck Montagny, who will be an integral part of the team's season-long development programme, the Frenchman having already completed over 5000 km during the winter.
"I enter this new season feeling confident," commented the team's Managing Director Flavio Briatore. "Everything is in place, both at Enstone and at Viry-Chatillon, for us to have a fast and reliable car. As a team, I certainly don't think we have yet attained our maximum."
The R24, which has already made its track debut, has been conceived by a team led by Chief Designer Mark Smith, under the guidance of Technical Director Bob Bell. The car, which has been under development since September 2002, is an evolution of the R23, with the clear objective of improved performance in every area. In spite of regulation changes, the car already generates more downforce than its predecessor.
At the heart of the new car lies the RS24, an engine designed to meet the new one engine-per-weekend regulations. The objective of Project Leader Leon Taillieu has been to maintain the level of performance from 2003 while meeting the new reliability demands. Furthermore, it will undergo intensive development throughout the year under the leadership of Technical Director Rob White.
See also: The Renault R24 - in pictures