The French manufacturer officially announced their return to F1 racing as a full works team in February by unveiling a predominantly black car, and the same livery was used on the R.S.16 throughout testing.
However, the team always indicated that this was an interim colour scheme and at a media event in Melbourne on Wednesday night they confirmed that Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer will indeed compete in Renault’s corporate colour of yellow.
"Tonight is about our identity and what Renault stands for,” said Renault Sport managing director Cyril Abiteboul.
"I look around and it looks like people are trying to disappear from the Tarmac, so we've gone for something different.
"I think it works well. We've gone for yellow, which has been the colour of Renault since 1946, so we've been true to our history.
“The first-ever Renault F1 car, the RS01, hit the track in yellow and black in 1977 and this latest livery is a nod to this formidable car.
“Meanwhile we have added some contemporary touches to make the R.S.16 stand out. We have used metallic colours that will reflect the lights at the night races, the ‘diamond’ pattern at the rear of the car fits in with our new brand identity and the gold flashes signify we aim for the top.”
Like Red Bull, Renault have opted for a matt finish for their paintjob, which is believed to offer a weight saving of almost half a kilogram across the entire car compared to gloss paint.
In unprecedented scenes, Renault chose to publicise the new livery in true Australian style by fixing a show car to a 7.5m surf board, which Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen then helped surf to shore.
“We had a new livery to unveil in Melbourne, but we wanted to do things a little differently,” commented Abiteboul. “We’re in F1 to ultimately get lots of points on track, but also to get lots of attention off track, so we came up with this idea. To our knowledge it’s the first time an F1 car has ever surfed!
To watch the amazing video of the Renault riding the waves, click here.