The new season is about to get underway.
Well, sounds good on paper.
But fans would know that there’s still a month to go.
It doesn’t make you an Einstein to note that what separates a regular sports fan from an F1 follower is patience; the latter often find theirs tested. Especially when stuck in jams, F1 fans struggle with composure, something that most commoners (read normal sports fans barring F1) find easy to deal with.
But patience is a virtue.
Is it not?
It’s something that few possess and even fewer come to hone. And speaking of patience, perhaps it may not be entirely incorrect to state that few teams would have tested those of its fans’ as that of Renault.
But wait there’s a catch.
Renault, in 2018 endured a season few would’ve criticized, particularly when compared from their 2017 efforts.
While in the 2017 F1 season, the Enstone-based outfit gathered a lowly 57 points, thanks much largely to Nico scoring 43, in the next season, they’d reach 122.
Rewarding their backers- fans and, anyone who’s valued the checkered entity in F1 albeit minus their obvious struggles- with a reward for their patience, the side stood fourth in the Constructor standings.
While 2017 was largely been ‘work in progress’, 2018 was different.
Wasn’t it a year with marked improvement?
But even as their lead over the trailing Haas was 29, the outfit would know where they need to improve.
In 2019, the French racing team who’ve just launched the Renault 2019 F1 car would wish to lower the gap to Red Bull Racing, the Christian Horner-outfit being third on the Constructor standings.
This, however, may or may not be that easy to achieve.
Not only because the team, albeit with Daniel Ricciardo partnering with the ‘Hulk’, would be wary of Red Bull’s power if not 2018’s not so spectacular reliability. But also because the battle for the midfield is only going to get hotter with Alfa Romeo Racing (formerly, Sauber) along with Racing Point, Haas, and McLaren forming a potentially threatening quartet that would challenge Renault for ascendency.
That said, what does the Renault 2019 F1 car look like and therefore, what might be the future prospects that could add some interesting bits to a car that has perhaps the grid’s most cheery-eyed man on its duty.
With peculiar changes to the front wing design, one notes that Renault have both compressed and flared out the front wing somewhat. That said, the front-wing front adjustor has been adjusted quite aggressively if one were to note outward in a bid to help the air to move as much as possible toward the front tyres.
Better traction, then, one supposes?
What this might also help with would be to minimize the balance of the heavier tyre weights for the 2019 season. The overall front wing design, however, seems a bit different for the Renault 2019 F1 car particularly from the standpoint of comparison with the Toro Rosso STR 14 and the Haas; the RS 19 as the two seem to have put emphasized on making the front-wings as big as possible.
This, however, is crucial to reclaim as much downforce as possible.
On the other hand, Renault, with a more sculpted wing, are perhaps reshaping the concept a bit- aren’t they?
Impetus has been given to direct the flow from the front of the air to be sent further down the car. This has been done by utilising the suspension component, just behind the front wheel to angle the airflow downward in a way that it forwards it to the barge-board sections.
Moving on, the air flow intake for the Renault 2019 F1 car is in a more pronounced oval shape. This interestingly was also used in 2018 toward the top-end of the car; one for the internal combustion engine, the other for MGU-K, and then for MGU-H.
The front-on does look a bit bulky somehow as most experts might agree. But normal features like a narrow nose, the steering column being at the level of the top wishbone seem to make the car a more robust but functionally attractive as one might agree.
Then, the Renault rear-wing looks, rather simple, in a way that it would help create maximum downforce.
All that told, racing at the end of the day would fundamentally boil down to how the car behaves on a day coupled with what a driver can or cannot do.
To that end, can Daniel Ricciardo- a ‘race-burglar’ according to Martin Brundle who coined the phrase at the back of the Aussie’s Shanghai triumph in 2018- provide something special to a side that certainly won’t mind some ‘Shoey’?
In order to do that, one may not have to scale or move a mountain to borrow an instance from an overly exploited cliche. But what’s going to challenge Renault for sure would be the sport’s most-noted troika, including the three bigwigs who’d love to dominate- Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull.
But then, there’s the ever-reliable ‘Hulk’ in the black and yellow liveried car- right? Moreover, he’s got a new partner for the company, one who derives that wry smile in playing the adorable spoiler for the ‘giants?’