Tunnel vision

People who say that the Renault launch in Paris today was a sham are looking at the situation with their telescopes the wrong way round. Yes, for F1 junkies, there was little to reveal apart from the new driver and the new team structure – which is plenty. The car was not a new car. How could it be? The new car is still being built and it is on a very tight schedule if it is to be ready in the time available. The decision to switch engines was taken so late in the day, that this was inevitable. The livery shown was different, but it seems that it probably won’t be the definitive look for the season. Again, why should it be? Renault needs to make sure that it has the right look for the years ahead, rather than for a rainy day in Guyancourt. The thing that the junkies forget is that there is a bigger picture here. Today was big news for F1. It was the confirmation that a major car manufacturer has decided to wade into the sport. That is great news. It confirms that F1 remains an impressive way for car manufacturers to market themselves.

“For over a century Renault’s company strategy has centred on motorsport and harnessing its benefits for increased road car sales,” says Jérome Stoll, the Chief Performance Officer of Renault and President of Renault Sport Racing. “The decision to return to team ownership is based on a solid, well-considered business strategy that we firmly believe will bring long term gains to Renault and other members of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. The benefits of F1 are undeniable: access to a large, worldwide TV and online audience, huge growth potential, access to developing markets and fast-paced, dynamic competition with some of the world’s leading manufacturers. Equally there is a real opportunity to showcase French creative technical excellence while testing avant-garde new innovations in the toughest arenas. Through our competitive activities, millions of Renault road users are already enjoying the benefits of turbocharging, greater fuel economy and highly sophisticated electrical vehicles that include improved powertrain architecture definition for efficiency optimization. Now, through Renault Sport Racing, we can go beyond and harness areas such as aerodynamics, driver response and improved suspension. The opportunities are almost endless and will serve as a great motivator for the technical teams across Renault Sport Cars and the Renault brand.

“On the other side, F1 is a powerful marketing tool and one each of our markets will be able to dial into. The announcement was greeted with huge enthusiasm internally and I am very much looking forward to a range of innovative campaigns around our equally exciting new products.”

So, yes folks, there was a message today. A good message. Be positive. There is life in the old dog yet…



87 thoughts on “Tunnel vision

  1. “It was the confirmation that a major car manufacturer has decided to wade into the sport. That is great news.”

    Yes, that´s the way it is! Thank you for that words!

    Or would it be better for the naysaying people if Renault had left the sport??

    Btw I think the black car looks quite nice….

    1. “It was the confirmation that a major car manufacturer has decided to wade into the sport. That is great news.”

      I get that Renault want to be in the sport and this is an affirmation, they have been there for years, now they are staying. But the flip side of that affirmation is a big fat poke in the eye to the morons at RBR who did everything they could to ruin any benefit Renault could derive from the sport. Now the potential for success is firmly in Renault’s hands and I hope they quickly find a way to show RBR a clean set of heels. Good luck to every staff member that stuck it out through the turmoil to keep this team alive.

  2. I think Renault made a smart move today. Drivers and an interim livery. Sometime in the next month they might have a livery reveal online before the test and then more PR with the car roll out in testing. Seems like good marketing to me.

  3. I agree. I always understood today to be a launch of the Team, not the new car or anything else. It was exactly that.

    Makes sense for them too – they can get a load more publicity for the new car when the launch it & then again for the definitive livery before the first race.

  4. It was no sham, however it was not that interesting, Renault needed to say hello and that was about it……….I think it is great for F1 they are back as a manufacturer and for all who enjoy F1…….

  5. It is a shame your first paragraph even needs to be written. It seems F1 fans even the clued up ones are always seeking something superficial to dazzle them like ‘a retro Renault livery’ or a ‘yellow livery’ rather than something solid that is a positive for the future of the sport, like you said a manufacturer entering as a team again.

  6. Well said Joe, I think that Renault could have easily packed up their shop and left the sport. I hope they do well this season!

  7. “Through our competitive activities, millions of Renault road users are already enjoying the benefits of turbocharging, greater fuel economy and highly sophisticated electrical vehicles that include improved powertrain architecture definition for efficiency optimization.”
    Bravo Monsieur Stoll! There’s more promotion and marketing of F1 technology in that one sentence than I’ve heard all year from M. Todt or anyone in his organization (loose term used) or the F1 owners…
    Welcome back, I say.

  8. Well said. Too many people in F1 are too quick to run down there own product. Lets welcome Renault back as a full factory team and hope they enjoy the benefit of their investment

  9. Burning up the keyboard and the candles tonight Joe?

    JS Said: ” It was the confirmation that a major car manufacturer has decided to wade into the sport.”

    That is the positive perception, and we all know you are F1’s biggest booster, and we are all wiser for it.

    But the alternate perception is Renault had not much choice in the matter, if they were ever to overcome their severely damaged reputation by the poor efforts they put out in 2014-2015.

    Surely it may not have all been Renault, but the RB boys constant Renault bashing last season left a world wide black mark against their reputation that could not be left as their last legacy to the sport.

    A much better approach than BMW, Honda, and Toyota chose when they all baled out (economic reasons for some). and I hope they rebound with highly competitive performances, if not in ’16 than ’17 for sure.

    1. It will be nice to watch if they eventually beat RBR – here’s hoping – and I am also hoping for better things from Mclaren Honda this year – fingers crossed

  10. The Renault launch was a big deal for me, and for the ‘proper’ F1 fans I spend my Sundays watching the racing with. As I have said here before . .yes, I know some people at the team and it is good that a major car manufacturer has committed long term because that secures the jobs of those people. But in the bigger picture – Renault, Nissan, Infiniti, The ‘Alliance’, have committed long term to THE SPORT and join Mercedes Benz, Honda and FCA (Ferrari) in long term commitment. Emmisions scandals aside that list would have included VAG, which by my calculations would have given us access to: Mercedes, Smart, Honda, Acura, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Ferrari, Chrysler, Dodge (don’t see an opportunity for promoting JEEP) Renault, Nissan, Infiniti, Dacia??, VW, Audi, SEAT, Sköda, Porsche & Aston Martin as possible engine/chassis entrants. And if a company with Renaults pedigree can commit the finances and/or resources required and prove competitive, would that encourage others such as BMW, Toyota/Lexus or PSA Peugeot/Citroën to have another go? Or maybe Hyundai/Kia who are already pitching themselves against the traditional competitors in WRC? And what of the Americans? Ford and GM have numerous brands to promote. Renaults confidence in the ability of our sport to promote their brand should be an inspiration to other manufacturers and a reassurance for us, the fans, after many years of negative reporting from ‘news’ sources with poor understanding of the the way F1 works. The launch may have been low key, with last years car and interim livery but that wasn’t the REAL message . . .
    Rant over, Sorry Joe 😉

  11. IndyCar would be ecstatic if a major company like Renault joined them. A decade ago the NASCAR people talked about how great it was to have Toyota and how with so many American plants they helped the economy. Plus I see value in these announcements. It’s always nice to get your name good publicity on a regular basis.

  12. yes there is a bigger picture, but for being such a momentous event of such significance they sure underwhelmed in showmanship. at LEAST paint the car yellow and white in the traditional colors of the marque.

    1. Jaguar Racing went pretty big on showmanship: Jac Nasser telling everyone that he wanted the grandstands to turn from red to green. Eddie Irvine revealing a sort of jaguar pelt crash helmet design. Wolfgang Reitzle’s moustache. Heck, they even brought Carol Vorderman along. And the result was more than a little egg on chin. This is much more realistic.

    2. Rule 1 of building credibility – under-promise and over-deliver This team is, in many ways, starting from scratch. They need time to become consistently competitive again. See scarf’s note about the silly chest-beating of Jaguar.

      1. Building on that, I’m impressed with Vasseur’s comments about 2016 – that expectations are low, that getting things in place is more important than finishing 5th or 7th or 9th – but that he doesn’t want anyone in the team thinking of 2016 as a ‘transition year’ (even if it is), because everyone needs to feel pressure to perform to stay race sharp and not fall into complacency and excuse making. Very shrewd, I thought. If he turns out as well as the last French team leader (Boullier), the team will be in safe hands. And he seems to come from a similiar background. Here’s hoping.

  13. I dont understand why the teams dont have launches like this all the time. In Moto GP they still have livery or season launches.

    For teams like Mercedes,Ferrari and McLaren they could combine their F1 and Sportscar drivers and cars and have a season launch event. It just generates good press and highlights your racing activities for the season – you dont have to spend a lot of money on it just host a press conference type thing at your HQ or at your main sponsor like Yamaha did this year at Movistar (spanish Telecoms company).

    It may seem a bit pointless but if the F1 teams could agree we could do 1 day in the lead up to the pre-season tests (weekdays only – we’ll let the staff and journo’s keep their weekends this time of year! 😉 ). It keeps the sport in the daily papers too – gets some hype for the season going as well.

    Oh well, get Bernie a dictionary and point him to the term Promoter!

    1. I completely agree. Get the sponsors there, do it at a posh/cool/regular venue, have an auction for charity, meal, drinks, a proper event. Not hard or expensive to organise. Make it an event!!! Do Ferrari still do their skiing weekend?

      As for taking the cover off a car in the pit straight on the morning of a test day – poor, very poor. This is supposedly the pinnacle of motorsport, the showbiz event with glitz and glamour – it all seems to have been forgotten about.

      I understand teams are on tight deadlines for launching the cars but come on, the car changes so much throughout the year anyway it seems daft to wait until the car is ‘ready’.

      1. No Ferrari dont do that skiing weeking but that was actually Marlboro / Phillip Morris event with Ducati and Ferrari. It was them launching the season with their two racing teams that they sponsored. (Called Wrooom!)

        I think it was last held in 2013 but they cancelled it due to the cost and the ever increasing restrictions in Europe on publicity and events by Tobacco companies. (Obviously they had been banned from being on the cars for a few years by then – including the stealth barcode branding).

        They do still sponsor Ducati and Ferrari however and you can see the two icon Italian marques on many billboards around the world where Tobacco advertising is still allowed. (I last saw it when Valentino Rossi was riding for Ducati somewhere in Eastern Europe at tobacco vendor (point of sale) )

        1. Not to mention the local region, which also provided money. It was a great event. I three or four of them…

          1. @gpcampbell, thanks for the info, never realised it was a Marlboro event.

            As Joe’s reply proves it’s the type of event that all teams should be throwing. Positive PR, journalists love it, sponsors love it. Come on teams make an effort, heck I’ll do it for free if you provide me with travel and tickets for each race – in a grandstand is fine, I don’t even want pit lane access. 🙂

  14. If you look past the obvious Ferrari then I don’t any manufacturer has been more loyal to F1 than Renault. They’ve been solidly involved since the seventies either as an entrant or supplier and even during the short periods when they weren’t present as a brand their technology [i]was[/i] through Mecachrome and Supertec.

    Ok, so their performance during the current engine formula has been embarrassing but sooner or later they will get things right. You only have to look at the last time they took over Team Enstone back in 2001 to see that they way Renault approach F1 is usually successful.

    Initially the whole package was uncompetitive but constant steady progress was made culminating in the glory years of Alonso’s championship in 05/06.

    With removal of the token system they now have the opportunity close the gap to Mercedes, this year will be all about development and consolidation but I’d be surprised if they remained in the lower midfield for too long.

  15. They must have done a SWOT analysis, but so far they have only told us about the Opportunities.

    Their Strength is that they bought a team capable of achieving great things on a shoestring.

    Their greatest Weakness is that despite having a head start, their engine seems to be a dog when compared to Mercedes and Ferrari. As Mr Newey reminds us, this is an engine Formula.

    Their greatest Threat is that they will continue to be anaialated by their opposition and so only attract negative publicity for their business strategy.

    Will being in F1 help them shift more Clios and Meganes? Honestly, I think it will be money down the drain. I get why Mercedes and Ferrari are there, for Renault and Honda, it can only be about corporate egos.

    1. It used to help them shift Clios and Meganes, so used right it should do again. If they repeat exercises like the Clio Williams and the various hot Megane series, the feeding of their motorsport DNA into their road cars will help lift these run-of-the-mill Euroboxes above similar competitors for some customers. If you look at what they once did to an Espace you can see how the theory can apply to almost any mundane road car, and these are just the simple, unsubtle tie in opportunities. The more subtle halo that success in motorsport brings to a manufacturer is harder to see, but it is there.

      1. Clios are in the same segment as the Citroen C3, perhaps as mundane as a basic car can get. They tried to move more numbers with the quirky Plurial and failed. Then they reshell it and go rallying with two great French drivers. DS3s then cars fly out of the showroom, make a good margin and spawn a sub-brand. That is a business strategy.

        In comparison Renault have the Clio cup in many European countries, promote Formula Renault, and Formula Renault 3.5 and win 4 F1 championships. What do they do? Their rising stars are Captor, Duster and Sandero.

        So now they are going big-time in F1, they run the risk of looking like a bunch of also-rans Sticking a MGU-H style turbo in a small-engined Clio would be expensive and not have the same effect that the Williams Clio had, Williams were front runners at the time.

        This is high risk and not a business strategy and I seriously doubt that it will move metal.

        1. Hi Rodger,
          is it just about moving metal though?
          At least in the traditional sense.

          Is it more about continuing a heritage that harks back to city to city racing, one of the first manufacturers to throw themselves at racing, one of the oldest to still be doing it.

          If a team is doing well enough, if they secure enough bonus entry dollars from CVC, and generate enough tv coverage, does F1 become a reasonably cost negative exercise for a manufacturer? It sounds like Merc have cracked that egg, albeit winning multiple WDCs/WCCs has given them mega tv exposure. Enstone were one of the most successful F1 teams over the last two decades, and whilst Renault did not utilise that success well enough there is no reason to believe they can’t do better this time.

          I have never related race success with a manufacturers showroom offerings. Even when it comes to Ferrari – I don’t look at a 458 Italia and judge its ability based on what the Scuderia is managing on track. I understand the rules governing F1, or racing in general do not apply to the roads we drive. What I do see is that manufacturers who go racing are manufacturers I am more likely to support. ie if they throw their time and money into a sport I love I give them an extra tick when looking at a list of potential cars. Further I don’t expect a mid sized four door family sedan to inherit the same cornering or performance characteristics as the purpose build extremely limited edition open wheeler that the manufacturer has entered in the Formula One World Championship.

          Every now and again I end up driving behind a Toyota that sports a Toyota F1 sticker in the rear window. A regular is an old dusty people mover with a “The car in front is a Toyota” sticker. Whilst I sometimes chuckle to myself at the idea of the people mover being in a GP, and also the failed campaigns of Toyota in F1, it still reminds me that this company threw it all in for a number of season and gave it a shot. That they failed does not deter me from driving the Toyota in my driveway, nor following the people mover in front. Toyota are still on my list of potential replacements when it is time to retire either of our current drives.

          For me, it is not just about winning, it is the spirit that gets you there in the first place. For some of us, that alone makes Renault a winner for jumping back into the deep end of the pool.

          1. Hi Adam, I know where you are coming from, but just like Joe and all his followers, we are passionate about F1. We feed on every facet; the fact that Renault achieved a podium last year is recognised as a great achievement.

            The sport has hardly any following amongst younger people. It is not on terrestrial TV, especially in France and where there is also no home GP. Few people actually read a newspaper, but they may catch a headline on the Internet that Lewis, or Nico has won the latest GP, driving a Mercedes. This trend is likely to move further away from people watching a live race in the future. iTunes, Netflix and Social media are probably their future.

            The average young person arriving at a point where they can afford the payments on their first new vehicle will base that decision on a plethora of information – the strongest influences are likely to be friends and relatives that encourage them to buy an entry level Twingo, or Clio. They then may go on to become a loyal customer and buy a Captur when they have a family.

            For AMG and Ferrari, the offer is different. Their potential clients are likely to be aspirational, wealthy and significantly older – much more representative of the F1 fan base. The companies also have the budgets to ensure they can occupy whatever few headlines are available.

            These hybrid engines are supposed to be road-relevant and yet if I was in the market for a Hybrid road car any time soon, it would inevitably be either Toyota, or more likely BMW. They both quit F1 as their percieved cost of loosing week in, week out did little to boost their great reputations and, more likely, harmed it.

            It is interesting that Tesla have not felt the need to participate in FE. I agree the world has moved on from win on Sunday, sell on Monday.

  16. You can usually rely on Joe’s sense of pun with his post tiles. So “Tunnel Vision” I had expected to be about the now almost useless massively expensive Ferrari wind tunnel. (was that Luca’s mistake?)

    But it will be good to have Renault back as a proper factory Renault team again, even though it is more English than anything, we can now imagine it a full “Reggie” team. It just need Alain Prost to be standing in the pit to complete the picture.

  17. The important thing out of the launch, beyond niggly details like the livery and nose is that Renault have demonstrated a huge increase in commitment to be involved in F1. That a headline screams pedantic negativity is a reminder of the gutter merchants polluting the sport.
    Mind you these are the same idiots who claimed to have been informed that the new team name would be Infinity and that Ferrari offered the Alfa deal to get their hands on Red Bulls Mario Illien head (designed for the Renault) – presumably because they want to regress their ICE investment in sparkless combustion and were unwilling to pay Mario 2mill themselves lol
    This is the gutter press equivalent of the internet where any sit at home Johnny can hack together gossip from forums and declare it to be truth from an insider – its called doing an TJ13az and following carefully in the footsteps of one Mansour Ijaz
    It goes like this – make up something and continue lying about it till found out, and then go silent and pretend it never happened whilst mentioning building 9. Wait till the dust clears then start again with more bullshit stories lacking in any understanding of how F1 works – repeat ad naseaum

    1. Building 9 aka Skunkworks/ Area 51 might be needed next year if RB have to build their own PU. What would have happened this year had Renault really pulled out in abu dhabi? I think RB would have bought up the Renault engine and developed it. I always thought building 9 was just an option in a range of possibilities. Either way it seems tbat developing a PU either on their own or with a partner might be in RB’s future. Or it might be a RB Honda but they will be looking at all options.

        1. I do read The Judge among several F1 blogs and thought the Building 9 story plausible if, as they imply, they have a mole in Milton Keynes. Recently they have been recycling old stories and not been very interesting. However, coming back to Red Bull, I do not believe like Ron Dennis that RB can win a championship without having a ‘works’ power unit so unless they can do some extraordinary deal with another current manufacturer to achieve full parity then having their own PU, even if in partnership, is their likely way forward. I know they did it before but the game has changed as the rules mitigate against getting the significant aerodynamic advantage that they were able to achieve in the past. They could well still be the best but they are not ‘best’ enough to beat Mercedes. I still maintain that had Renault pulled out, RB must have had a ‘plan B’ and I do not think it would have been taking the 2014 Ferrari motors discarded by Manor which were just about the only units that would have been available at short notice!

      1. > I think RB would have bought up the Renault engine and developed it.

        What makes you think Renault would have been prepared to sell, *even if they were leaving the sport*?

        Don’t you think they consider Viry and their F1 engine IP strategic assets?

      2. Out of interest Joe, if Renault had pulled out of F1 entirely at the end of last year, what do you think would have come of the engine project and Viry? Surely there would have been something that could have been sold on from that, possibly to Red Bull?

        Great night at Cass by the way.

      3. Sounds like you’ve been TJaz’ed if you believe building a competitive PU in a back room in time for 2016 or 2017 is a business or financial option open to Red Bull
        Buying an AVL rig to try and enhance chassis and PU integration is one thing, extrapolating that into the following quote is naive and childish fantasism

        (Copyright TJAZ13)
        —The Renault engine block will form the core of the RBR PU. Additional components developed by RBR include a new cylinder head, turbo, CE, MGU-K and MGU-H units all of which will then require ‘harmonisation.—-

  18. It was neither a livery launch, nor a car launch but it was a big deal. New team owners, new management, new drivers, new engine. It needed to be done and announce Renault’s return. I’m looking forward with hope to a blue/yellow or black/white/yellow car.

  19. Meantime, back on Planet Reality, it is all sweetness and light yesterday, but unless the Regie are actually winning then questions will begin and no great honeymoon period will take place in my humble opinion.
    Cynical maybe, negative…no, just pragmatic. The Regie has to satisfy the French Government, the people and the Unions…..in the past Renault has bailed out at the drop of a beret, and other Manufacturers have as well.
    The only truly sustainable path for F1 racing, is to have available a Customer Engine that is fully competitive with those of Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault….and one day, Honda too!
    It is fine having the big car makers in F1, but they are not there for anyone’s reason than their own, and that is much different to the mentality of a Racer who is there for the sport and the outside chance of title glory.

    1. Everyone was clearly talking about two or three years. I am sure the media and the muppets pretending to be media will put some pressure on, but if the key people ignore the pressure, there is no pressure.

    2. Our sport, Grand Prix racing which became F1, has always been about manufacturers.

      For the early races, cars were entered as a manufacturer team (see earlier Gordon Bennett events competed by national teams). Privateers were co-opted by the manufacturer team on occasions, but the race invitation was addressed to the manufacturer.

      Convention changed in the late(?) 1920s. When Grover-Williams won the first Monaco GP, it was common for independents to race against and with assistance from factory teams.

      I’ll skip GP and F1 history for a few decades; read up for yourself. The next relevant factor is the Coventry Climax F2/F1 engine. That is when Cooper beat the manufacturer teams and garagists had a go against Ferrari, the last standing manufacturer.

      The garagist period lasted from about 1958 to 1979, shortly after Renault rejoined F1. Within a few years, almost every garagist had a deal with a manufacturer.

    3. I’m with Damian, only adding that if the Regie has an ounce of sense, it’ll keep what remains of the Genii well out reach of anything

      1. Yeah, it is imperative that elements of Genii are eliminated from the Enstone/Renault team history. Trivial stuff, like wins and seconds and thirds.

        1. Actually the biggest positive thing from the launch, for me at least, is that the travesty of dragging the Lotus name along as an add on for Enstone, and the Caterham disaster as well, is now truly over. Lotus was Colin Chapman, and never the same after he died, names should not be dragged up like that and abused in my view.

          1. I agree Damian, and it is the mind sets that are so set doing this that in my point of view is wrong. They should have created their own USP and have not assumed the potential investment viability; the one that didn’t happen.

        2. You forgot their brilliance at handling $’s and its resulting knock-on affects in 2013/14 Phil. It was the Enstone crew that got those P1,2,3’s not Genii

          1. That sounds like Red Bull’s attitude to Renault when they were winning all those championships.

            Genii brought in Boullier, no? Brought Grosjean back?

            More fundamentally, though, Enstone wouldn’t have got those results then without Genii bankrolling them, any more than they could last year when the money dried up. Last year’s problems have their roots in Genii making the very brave decision to throw *alot* of cash at Enstone in the hope of making a big breakthrough. Instead of just buying it for a dollar and milking it for the cash they could get out. It didn’t work out, and they lost their shirts, but as an Enstone fan I’m grateful that they tried, and I think the team would be in -far- worse shape otherwise.

            At the time Renault withdrew, I thought there was a good chance that Enstone would end up like Jordan did though the Midland / Spyker / whatever years, just gradually falling further and further from contention until there was no way back from midfield / backmarker status because any ambitious, serious newcomer would look elsewhere for a starting point. As far as I’m concerned, Genii saved Enstone from that.

  20. Amen!

    And huge respect to Renault for treading consistently and continuously where other global car corporations fear to go and I don’t mean necessarily F1.

  21. WRT Renaults success on the track affecting their perception in the road car market. I don’t think it matters if they are not winning. The fact that they are competing and learning from that competition will have a positive effect on their image and on the technology in their cars.
    Indeed you often learn more from loosing than winning.

  22. So a car manufacturer (Renault-Nissan bla bla bla group) that currently makes dull family & business saloon cars is now a ‘works F1 team’.

    Oh joy!..Renault is just another boring ‘midfield’ F1 team that has no chance of winning races to add to the already boring midfielders (Force India, Williams, Sauber, Haas etc..)

    1. May I suggest you go to see your doctor and ask him if he has anything to deal with a nasty case of negativity

      1. May I suggest you go to see your doctor and ask him if he has anything to deal with a nasty case of a lack of realism?

          1. Joe, As you had the ball to let the above gross negativity post stand I only hope you have the same size balls to let my post about the damage being done to the sports by those in a position to influence their followers to stand.

      2. Joe, appreciating there is probably a method in your madness, but why publish posts like this? Pure negativity.

        Boring midfielders;

        Force India, appear to be boxing well above their weight and their ownership is anything but boring.

        Williams, from phonebox to multiple world championships.

        Sauber, Le Mans winners and the trojan horse Mercedes used to return to Grand Prix

        Haas, no history but it will be anything but but boring to see how they get on.

        As for La Regie, I cant for the life of me understand why they are in F1. But there are far cleverer people than me who have done the sums and it works for them. It is great they are back and we have another works team.

        But, Joe, can you use your French connections and make sure the car is yellow and black?

        1. Tim – agreed re midfielders in general.

          Isn’t part of the joy in F1 watching the mid field.

          Watching young drivers give the drives that can eventually see them elevated to front running teams. Enjoying tussles for 4th, 5th, 6th, or 7th in the WCC. Quite often these battles can be closer and more engrossing than the battle between the leading team and the next best, especially in a season where one team steals a march on all of the others, and the battle for the title becomes a battle between the two team mates, or sometimes, no battle at all.

          Then there is the occasional story of a midfield team that makes the jump. Indeed it was only a few seasons ago that Mercedes were midfield racers, despite their massive backing. Red Bull spent time as midfield prior to and during their re-branding exercise. When it comes to the midfield too many stories to tell perhaps.

          I love the midfield as much as I love the top teams, in fact I probably get a whole lot more from the midfield than I do from the top teams. Long may they live, the sport would be poorer without them.

  23. The unmentioned bit of good news is that Kevin Magnussen brought a new sponsor to F1, a clothes retailer with a youthful profile. Hopefully there will be shop and advertising promotions for Jack & Jones that will help boost F1. For the sport to prosper, it needs to attract more sponsors that sell products to ordinary people.

  24. It is a breath of fresh air that Renault chose to go full on positive after all the grumbling in F1 (generally) last year. Interesting to see the Infiniti logo there, too. Funny that they mention electric cars, since they’re in Formula E as well (as a founding supplier, just as McLaren and Williams). Maybe a bit of a stab at rival companies who compete in FE but haven’t got electric cars on sale (like Jag and Citroen). And nice that Kevin gets a second chance in a car that might very well outperform the McLaren – unless that has improved dramatically.

    The only thing is that I do hope their powertrain improves quickly, because otherwise “opportunity to showcase French creative technical excellence while testing avant-garde new innovations in the toughest arenas” might sound a bit hollow.

  25. Normally there was no need for an article and subsequently all the comments. – if one HAS read/watched/listening what Renault said at the launch. No actual car, no actual livery. The only real thing here is that Pastor goes:(, Palmer stays, KMag joins and nice dude Carmen remains. All the fuss because some people DIDN’T listen/read carefully and took all this as granted, stone-chisseled and sure for 100% with no variations and yelling loud if first images didn’t meet their expectations

        1. I doubt it.

          But any racing driver who storms out of Enstone in the belief that she’s jumped over him in the queue to get an actual F1 drive is either making excuses or delusional.

  26. Hi Joe,

    It is a manufacturer’s prerogative to utilise the occasion to spruik their primary sales vehicle, no matter how dull this may be to the average fan. That Renault is bucking the trend to enter F1 at a time when few others – save Honda in a supply sense, will surely also garner recognition, irrespective of immediate results.

    Off topic Joe, when can we expect an Audience with Joe tickets for Melbourne to be announced?


  27. I’m psyched for Renault sans the Flavio sleaze factor. Everything is set up for this team to excel by year 3- token system going away, excellent team already at Enstone, a solid driver lineup with potential, and time to evaluate the drivers as the team develops, with the possibility of pulling in a top driver if they fall short. The best thing is that this should be two seats that rely totally on merit, not mega sponsor money. I’d be happy if KMag and Palmer developed, or if Grosjeanreturned or Hulk got a seat. It’s exciting.

  28. “People who say that Renault launch in Paris today was a “sham” are looking with their telescopes the wrong way round”.
    These people (example number one is thejudge13) are not only a shame themselves but are the prime ones doing the most damage to the sports we follow.
    Another example of the damage they are doing to the sports because of them being in a position of wrongly influencing their followers was two or so weeks ago when one of their article/opinion writes penned an article inferring that a manufacturer permitted to supply a year old specification engine apart from his current specification supply can use double (64) the number of development tokens during a season. A real Shame on such people doing such damage to the sports we follow.

    1. If that site stuck to clickbait and shallow negativity and ‘indigenisation’ then it could be seen as the sign of F1 expanding to embrace a new audience of tech ignorant and scandal hungry casual followers
      However what poisons F1 is the Ijaz style persistent pretence to be ‘inside’ F1, and to be ‘informed by insiders’ or ‘sources’ when it’s obvious to everyone that it’s merely a rehash of the stuff one finds on F1 forums. Unlike forums though replies and posts are carefully stylised, with the same muppet writing most of the comments under various ids and only allowing posts from the dumbest and most gullible half wits out there who are too lazy to find out how F1 works

      At least if any of those dumbos evolve enough to come here or to start distinguishing between informed F1 opinion vs Mansour TJaz fantasists then they should thank this site for tolerating mentions of TJ13az, cos some sites have a blanket ban on any mention of F1s newly defined gutter site

  29. Renault is back! Great to see the commitment. I like the livery. I don’t think they have to always use yellow. People may have complained when Lotus green first when JPS but ultimately they created another iconic reference. I thought that the last iteration of Renault yellow, with the ING orange was pretty awful anyway, but it is all subjective.

    I’m not concerned about their results this year, or next year, or possibly the year after that. I think winning a WDC or two over the next decade is success. I can’t back this up with stats or figures but I think winning WDC’s within a decade should be an admirable and realistic goal for any team with the appropriate resources. That might seem too long for some people, perhaps it is, but I think it is reasonable. I see some people judging a team for not winning a WDC within 4 or so years and it seems a little shortsighted to me – do we want tems to only be in the sport for a few years, or do we ant to see commitment over many decades?. I still remember some people laughing at Merc a couple of years ago – possibly some of the same people who have recently complained about Merc dominance. No-one on this blog of course, I’m talking about the other plebs who don’t visit here.

    Anyway, good to see the lads and lasses at Enstone back in the ring with some longer term hope of getting back to the winners circle. They have spent a lot of time there over the last two decades irrespective of the more recent lack of performance, may they soon(er or later) return.

  30. The 3rd was a great day of writing for you, Joe. Some good insights and sharp analysis.

    So much to be positive about. I’m sure there’ll be plenty of “spending wars” chat, but as long as they keep the customer engine cost caps in place, the manufacturers can spend as much as they want as far as I’m concerned. They have achieved pretty amazing things in the past two years and hopefully Renault will now throw more weight (money) behind their engine programme and there will be even more innovation that trickles down to the generic car on the street even quicker than it would through the super/luxury car makers.

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