“Was Renault’s launch much of a launch?”
Full marks Renault, but then you get a deduction for that livery…
The full marks come for sheer effort. In an age of digital car launches when Twitter, Facebook and the interweb-u-net get you global coverage within seconds, teams have gradually eschewed the traditional Formula 1 launch event.
This year is the worst by far. Nobody is doing one, with every team planning to either post out a rendering of its new car, or simply push it into the Barcelona pit lane. It’s not as fun as it used to be. When cars were unveiled in theatres, town squares, or even the Bond villain-esque grandeur of the Mclaren Technology Centre. There was pageantry and passion. Yes they cost time and money, but so does the endless cycle of F1.
Now nobody does it. Nobody that is, except Renault Sport F1 Team.
But then was Renault’s event much of a launch? Kevin Magnussen’s appointment in place of Pastor Maldonado was leaked weeks in advance. We all knew. It was simply a matter of seeing the Dane in the black and yellow overalls to make it official. Briton Jolyon Palmer was signed and sorted.
All we were waiting for was the car, and that livery… sadly that livery never really arrived. Instead we got a shiny black car with less shiny bits at the rear and a few yellow flashes. Renault boss Carlos Ghosn described it as “elegant”, the internet argued back with “plain dull”.
What makes it worse is the car that wore it was the 2015 model. Not a 2016 car. Then, when questioned why the car was basically just black, Ghosn added: “The livery may change for the season. But it will still be elegant.”
So to sum up Renault’s launch. New team name [give them that at least], two drivers we already knew about – but we’re at least excited about, and an old car with a plain livery that’s probably going to change anyway. It says something when our sister title F1 Racing stirs up more interest with a mocked up graphic on its cover!
For all the kudos Renault has earned by actually holding a launch, it loses pretty much all of it for it being incomplete. Let’s have a new car, a livery that took some effort and imagination, and at least one surprise along the way please.
What the French firm is doing well though is looking after the next generation of drivers. The announcement of the Renault Sport Academy is a great thing. Designed to help nurture the best talent from Renault’s F1 feeder classes, it’s another genuine way of bringing drivers through the barely ajar F1 door.
Schemes like this are hugely important for the future of F1 as a talent-rich sport.
have done a year in single-seaters, Jason Plato has, Andy Priaulx has and so on.
“It allows you to get to grips with slicks and is of benefit later in your career. Clios do not excite me as much and I think this is a good way to try and get my name out there.
“I tested with the team last year and got on really well with them and I loved the car. I also tested with Fortec, but with Jamun it’s the only car they run so they can spend more time on it.
“I’ve got the momentum from winning the Ginetta Junior title. I really enjoyed the Ginettas but they were a bit unpredictable. The F4 car is a car that does what you want it to do.”
Caroline won’t complete any further testing until next month but doesn’t think his lack of track time will hurt him as he was on the pace straightaway when he first drove the car.
The Jamun name will return to MSA Formula this year after the team raced as MBM in 2015 with Jack Barlow and Toby Sowery completing partial campaigns.
Team manager James Mundy said: “We are delighted to have finally put this deal together. We have been determined to get Jamie in our car for the 2016 season ever since we first tested him. His raw speed and natural talent is something we haven’t seen for some time. It’s a great feeling to get that buzz back.”