PARIS (AFP) – Renault will look to build on last year’s sixth-place finish in the Formula One constructors’ championship after launching their new car, the R.S.18, on Tuesday ahead of the 2018 season.
The French manufacturer is preparing for its third campaign following its return to the sport full-time in 2016, and will again count on Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr to drive the team forward.
“The car is a progression and refinement of the concepts developed during the 2017 season. It includes an improved suspension concept and greater aerodynamic downforce,” Renault said in a statement.
The latest model, which retains its black and yellow colour scheme, includes the mandatory cockpit halo brought in this season to protect the drivers.
“Our headline target is to show continued progression through results,” said Cyril Abiteboul, the team’s managing director.
“Last year was successful in many ways. It was the second year in our rebuilding and a further step towards our long-term plans and aims.
“Over the past year I’ve seen progression in many areas: ninth to sixth in the standings – in many races we were often the fourth fastest team on the grid.”
He added: “We have everything to be positive about this year. We have two very talented and ambitious drivers.”
Spaniard Sainz, who joined from Toro Rosso four races from the end of last season, finished ninth in the overall standings a year ago while Germany’s Hulkenberg came 10th.
The duo will be backed up by 22-year-old British-Korean reserve driver Jack Aitken, who takes the place of Sergey Sirotkin after the Russian rookie was handed a racing seat by Williams last week.