Renault kicked off their 2020 F1 campaign at a launch event last night in Paris, showcasing images of the R.S.20 – although not fully revealing their 2020 contender, as the car has not been built yet.
In attendance at the launch was Renault’s new Chassis Technical Director Pat Fry, who has joined the French manufacturer after stints with the McLaren and Ferrari Formula 1 teams. Also there was Renault Sport Academy driver Guanyu Zhou, who has been promoted to the team test driver role for the 2020 season.
Team principal Cyril Abiteboul said at the launch “We need to regain confidence and reinforce team spirit to get the best from everyone. Taking back fourth position in the constructors’ championship remains the objective over a season that will be more hotly-contested than ever.”
“For the coming season, we must respect the three priorities identified during the off-season: reliability from the get-go; ensure a high level of development very early in the season and have a good conversion rate on track. However, we also need to regain confidence and reinforce team spirit to get the best from everyone, and to maximise our chances each race weekend.”
Daniel Ricciardo has been retained in the Renault driver line-up for 2020. He will be joined by Esteban Ocon, who replaces Nico Hulkenberg.
Ocon said ahead of the cars debut
“It’s very exciting and I can’t wait to test the new car in Barcelona. We’ve had a lot of time to prepare, and I’m feeling ready for the challenge. I’m really looking forward to racing again – back where I want to be – after waiting for a year.”
“There are a lot of new items on this year’s car and the guys have been working hard to find some additional performance.”
“It’s all about details in Formula 1 and I’ve seen quite a lot of details on the Renault R.S.20. It’s exciting to see the design but the next thing you want is to be behind the wheel and feeling what it’s like.”
This season marks the Frenchman’s return to Formula 1 after losing his seat at Racing Point Force India toward the end of 2018, leaving him out of a full-time seat for the 2019, filling in a reserve driver role at Mercedes during that season.
On the other side of the garage, Ricciardo was looking to build a closer bond with the team heading into his second year with the Enstone-based outfit.
“I’m looking forward to blending into the team better on the back of having a full season behind us,” he said. “Things are going to be easier in that sense. I learnt a lot about myself and obviously a lot about the team. One of the most important learnings for me was that it’s not just about having the smartest guy in the Formula 1 paddock – you need every individual across the team getting the most out of themselves.”
“With the people I work closest with, it’s about trying to find a way they work best, trying to help them be their best selves, and then also figuring out where I can perform the best on the day.”
The R.S.20 will make its debut at pre-season testing, which begins on February 19 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain.
2020 Formula One car and team launches dates
11 Feb – Ferrari 12 Feb – Renault 12 Feb – Red Bull
- 13 Feb – McLaren
- 14 Feb – AlphaTauri
- 14 Feb – Mercedes
- 17 Feb – Racing Point
- 17 Feb – Williams
- 19 Feb – Haas
- 19 Feb – Alfa Romeo