Renault F1 Team today unveiled its 2019 livery and new challeger R.S.19 with its new driver line-up of Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hülkenberg at a showcase of Renault technical facilities in Enstone, UK.
Since its F1® comeback three years ago, Renault has invested heavily across all its technical facilities in the UK and France, increasing its workforce by around 50 per cent since 2016.
With a solid foundation of technical and human resources in place, Renault F1 Team managing director, Cyril Abiteboul, outlined the team’s aim to keep this momentum going into 2019.
“Launching all these projects while participating in the championship was an incredible challenge, as was getting the major points finished,” he said.
“This shows in the momentum we have gathered – ninth in 2016 with eight points, sixth in 2017 with 57 points and fourth last year with 122 points.
“We go into this season aiming to keep this strong and measured momentum. We do not target x or y position or a number of points; what I want to see is that the team continues its trajectory of progression towards the top teams.”
Abiteboul also explained the extra motivational factor of the new driver line-up. “The added momentum of the Daniel-Nico partnership brings confidence to the team this season,” he said. “I believe we have one of the strongest – if not the strongest – driver line-up on the grid. Daniel brings proven race winning experience and knowledge of a top team.”
Australian Ricciardo, a seven-time Grand Prix winner, joins Renault F1 Team for his first season in yellow.
“Renault has a massive history in motorsport, so to be part of the next step of their Formula 1® journey is an exciting challenge,” he said.
“I’m here to do a job on track and drive as fast as possible, but I would like to bring the team energy. I want to put a spring in everyone’s step because that’s part of my job and also my character. I aim to be able to get the team to work that extra bit harder, put in more effort and rally everyone together. I’d like to be a catalyst for positive energy.”
Ricciardo wants 2019 to be a fresh start. “Everything I learnt in 2018 will make me a better version of myself in 2019,” he added. “The difference will be a more mature person. I have more clarity of where I’m going and I aim for that to be shown with good results on track. I feel a lot of positive pressure and expectation to do good things, but that’s something I’m looking forward to taking on.”
Hülkenberg embarks on his third year of competition with the team in 2019.
“As a team, we’ve developed a lot since the start of 2017 and that’s all part of the process if we want to achieve our long-term targets,” he said. “When I arrived, the infrastructure was still young, we’ve come a long way since then with a lot of progress. I want to extract the best from myself and maximise the potential from the team and the car. The important thing is, as a team, we take a good leap forward and perform better consistently. We want the trend to continue upwards and keep the developments coming.”
With new facilities and new drivers bolstering confidence, 2019 promises to be an interesting year on and off the track. See Ricciardo's Renault debut at the Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2019 on 14-17 March.