Renault unveiled its new R.S.18 earlier this week but says major design details were purposefully omitted from the car’s images.
While the French team presented a brand new livery, its R.S.18 however looked very similar to last year’s car, prompting the belief that Renault had opted for a conservative approach to its 2018 contender.
But Renault Sport F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul says the presentation mainly showcased the team’s new livery, with several aerodynamic details deliberately kept under wraps until pre-season testing kicks off next week.
“To be extremely clear, the car that we showed in digital was really a presentation for the livery,” Abiteboul told Motorsport.com on Thursday, during a Renault promotional event in Paris.
“I have seen on forums people trying to extrapolate things from it. Well, calm down guys – don’t try to calculate the wheelbase because it will not be representative of anything!
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“Like most teams we are going to develop until the last moment, so that car is not representative of what will be shown in T9 and T10 [the first and second tests] and in Melbourne there will be more to come.
“And also there a lot of the things that are under the cover. The suspension, gearbox, engine installation, cooling – all of that has made a big, big leap in comparison to last year but that is obviously not visible.”
Abiteboul said Renault’s design crew had enjoyed an early start on the R.S.18 last year, with a focus on carrying over the qualities of the R.S.17 while also improving reliability on both the chassis and engine departments.
“We started really early in designing the first concept of the 2018 car, and started also fairly early on the engine – which is very much a carry over of last year,” he said.