Renault hopes 'brave' car design pays off
The design of Renault's 2011 car is at "the brave end of brave", according to technical director James Allison.
The R31 will make its debut at the upcoming Valencia test and after Williams described its car as "aggressive" and McLaren said its has "fresh design features", Allison upped the rhetoric in his description of the new Renault.
"This time of year is a heady mix of both thrilling excitement of confirming that all your plans have come to fruition and also abject terror that you will not deliver the thing in time," he said in a video interview on the Group Lotus website. "Anyone who follows the sport will have seen that words like 'aggressive' and 'brave' are being bandied across several of the teams this year for their solutions, I believe that we have chosen a direction that is on the brave end of brave."
New for 2011 is the adjustable rear wing, which will be free for drivers to use in qualifying and then restricted to overtaking situations in the race. Allison said Renault had prioritised this area on the new car.
"The top rear wing, for the first time since the 1960s , is allowed to be adjusted whilst the car is in motion," he added. "The idea behind that is that it will improve the overtaking opportunities on the track and improve racing. Making sure that we have a reliable, high-performance adjustable top rear wing has been a key priority for us."
Renault is aiming for race victories in 2011 after notching up three podiums in 2010 and finishing fifth in the constructors' championship. Chief operating officer Patrick Louis said the team had undergone a restructuring process to make it a leaner and more competitive outfit this season.
"The objective for the team is to finish within the top three in the championship," he said. "To get along to that objective, based also on the Resource Restriction [Agreement] programmes we have to run, we have been opting to re-insource a major part of the outsourced jobs we had.
"[We did this] for many reasons, because, based on a higher efficiency in-house, we are going to be able to match the volumes. We can improve the quality level and we can decrease the external expenditures. So this cost reduction, which we can then reinvest in research and development, should provide the future track performance we are looking for."