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Renault aiming for top three with 'brave' new car design 20 Jan 2011

Robert Kubica (POL) Renault R30.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 1 August 2010 The new Lotus Renault livery for 2011. Autosport International Show, NEC, Birmingham, England, Day One, Thursday 13 January 2011. James Allison (GBR) Renault F1 Team Technical Director. Formula One Testing, Day Three, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday 27 February 2010. Vitaly Petrov (RUS) Renault R30. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Japanese Grand Prix, Race Day, Suzuka, Japan, Sunday, 10 October 2010

Renault are targeting a return to the top three in the constructors' championship in 2011 thanks to the bold design of their new car, the R31. The team, who last won the title back in 2006, haven’t finished higher than fourth in the standings since 2007 and took fifth place last season.

After recently unveiling their new black and gold livery, the Group Lotus-backed team are currently hard at work in their Enstone factory putting the finishing touches to the 2011 challenger, which will be unveiled in Valencia on January 31.

“We started developing the new car in May last year and we started manufacturing during the first part of summer,” said the team’s COO Patrick Louis in a video on the official Group Lotus website. “The pressure is there. The objective of the team is to finish in the top three of the championship.”

Although keen to keep the media guessing about the finer details of the R31 until its launch at the end of the month, Renault technical director James Allison admitted the new car’s design concept is a bold one.

"This time of year is a heady mix of both thrilling excitement, of finding out, confirming that all your plans are coming to fruition, and also abject terror that you will not deliver the thing in time,” Allison explained. “Anyone who follows the sport will have seen that words like aggressive and brave are being bandied around across several of the teams this year for their solutions. I believe that we have chosen a direction that is really on the brave end of brave."

Following its Valencia launch, the car will take to the Spanish track for the first multi-team test of 2011 from February 1-3. It has not yet been announced which driver, Robert Kubica or Vitaly Petrov, will get to sample the R31 first.

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