Renault officially launched their 2007 car today with a pledge to retain the world championship for a third successive season. Renault have already tested the R27 in front of the media, but today was the first time it had been seen in it s striking new livery. Following the departure of Mild Seven, the old light blue livery has been replaced with the orange and white of their new sponsors, Dutch firm ING.
The event, staged at the exclusive venue “The Factory” in the Dutch capital, was overshadowed by notable failures of the new car during testing at Jerez last week. Despite both drivers, Giancarlo Fisichella and Heikki Kovalainen, completing race distances, the car appeared fragile compared with the R26 from last season.
Speaking at the event, Renault s Bob Bell, the man behind the new chassis, was confident that despite earlier issues, the R27 would pick up where the previous car left off.
“I am very proud of the team’s work on R27. 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,” he said.
“The aerodynamic packaging is even more sophisticated than in previous years, while the gains from our new gearbox have been significant on track. We have kept the mechanical configuration of the suspension consistent in order to understand as thoroughly as possible the demands of the new Bridgestone Potenza tyres.”
With the move to restricted (19,000 rpm) and homologated engines (Renault using the same spec as used at last season s Grand Prix in China and Japan), Rob White the man responsible for this years power-plant, was confident that Renault had been able to produce a reliable engine.
“Our work for 2007 has been very different to previous years, rather than designing a new engine, as we have done every season since 2001, the regulations have limited our work to optimising how the engine operates within the new 19,000 rpm rev limit.”
“Our development work has been conducted within the framework of the new rules and although the engine will be called RS27, it contains just 10% new parts, compared to over 95% in previous years. And as always, our goal will be to achieve the only acceptable objective for a top-line Formula 1 engine, zero-defect reliability. We have worked hard to blend this with competitive performance for the season ahead.”