Renault target fifth place with launch of the R.S.17
Renault have revealed their new car, with drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Jolyon Palmer taking the wraps of the R.S.17 at an unveiling ceremony in the UK on Tuesday. With it the team are targeting fifth place in the 2017 championship.
The yellow machine, built to comply with the radically revised 2017 regulations, is the second car produced since Renault’s return to F1 racing as a works squad, but the first for which they have overseen the entire design process.
They hope it will allow them to improve dramatically on the ninth place they achieved in last year’s constructors’ championship, when Palmer and then team mate Kevin Magnussen scored eight points.
“The R.S.17 is the first car which Enstone and Viry have been able to plan and develop from the outset and we’re satisfied by the fruits of this interaction," said Jerome Stoll, President of Renault Sport Racing. "It’s a beautiful car.
"For 2017 our performance targets are clear. We want to take a definite, tangible step forward in performance and results. Fifth position in the constructors’ championship is our goal.” Renault’s technical chief Bob Bell predicted performance gains of around five percent relative to 2016, thanks in large part to the new technical rules, which have been designed to make 2017’s cars both faster and physically tougher to drive.
"Our performance metrics show that we’ve made gains in a strong and consistent manner throughout its development," said Bell of the R.S.17. "If you look at the car itself you will see tremendous attention to detail and sophistication, illustrating that it’s been designed by a talented and knowledgeable group of people. This is a proper Renault Formula One car and what we know about it so far gives me a lot of optimism."
Commenting further on the team's objectives for the coming season, Cyril Abiteboul, Renault Sport Racing Managing Director, said: "We are aiming for fifth in the constructors’ championship and it’s clear that to achieve this we need to be scoring points regularly. This is a target for the team collectively, and the drivers individually.
"In terms of our drivers, Nico joins us with a lot of experience and talent. We expect him to deliver from day one and we are confident this will be the case. Jolyon had a strong rookie season where he developed and performed well and we expect the natural continuation of this.
"Both drivers should complement each other and the team should flourish with this pairing. 2017 will be the second season of what is a long term plan. We are not expecting miracles overnight, but we are clear on where we ultimately want to be."
Also announced at the London event was the appointment of four-time world champion Alain Prost as a special advisor to the team, and the promotion of Sergey Sirotkin as reserve driver.