Dutch capital hosts launch of French team's latest contender
World champions Renault have officially unveiled the car with which they will defend their Formula One constructors title. The R27 was presented to the press in Amsterdam on Wednesday, sporting a colourful new livery in honour of the teams 2007 title sponsor, ING.
Despite the departure of Fernando Alonso for McLaren, Renault insist the new car will allow them to continue their winning ways - the team won both championships in 2005 and 2006 - with Giancarlo Fisichella and newcomer Heikki Kovalainen at the wheel.
Consecutive double championships are concrete proof that Renault can win in a demanding environment where success demands quality, technical excellence and reliability, said the Renault teams President Alain Dassas.
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.
Renault say the R27 represents an evolution of the design philosophy employed in its two title-winning predecessors. Its aerodynamic packaging represents a further step forward in terms of overall efficiency, and innovative solutions have been employed in a number of areas to achieve improved performance under the stable technical regulations.
The car also features a new instantaneous gearchange seven-speed gearbox, and has been designed with maximum set-up flexibility in order that its dynamic characteristics can be tuned to suit the Bridgestone Potenza tyres that will be used by every team in 2007.
I am very proud of the teams work on R27, commented Renault technical director Bob Bell. We have enjoyed two seasons of remarkable success, but there is no complacency at all at Renault. Finding performance under stable regulations always obeys the law of diminishing returns, but our technical group has worked hard to innovate and ensure that the new car represents a genuine step forward over its predecessor in every area.
The R27 has already racked up over 2000 kilometres of running following last weeks three-day test at Jerez in Spain. With two chassis available, both Fisichella and Kovalainen had the chance to sample the car, which experienced only minor early-life reliability problems.