Abiteboul: RS18 what you see is not what it will be

Renault Sport F1 Team RS18

Renault chief Cyril Abiteboul has made it clear that the team’s RS18 launched early last week is more of a platform to show of the team’s 2018 livery rather than a glimpse into the race car which Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz will be driving this year.

Abiteboul told reporters in Paris, “To be extremely clear, the car that we showed in digital was really a presentation for the livery. I have seen people trying to extrapolate things from it. Calm down guys – don’t try to calculate the wheelbase because it will not be representative of anything.”

The real RS18 will emerge between now and the season opener in Melbourne next month, with much of the evolution and tweaks to the team’s new car taking place during the eight days of preseason testing which start at Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona on Monday.

Abiteboul explained, “Like most teams, we are going to develop until the last moment, so that car is not representative of what will be shown [in testing] 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.”

“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 carryover of last year. Everything had to be better and more robust in terms of reliability, which has been the main focus.”

“The target was to have a very healthy platform from which we could build and bring some extra performance in the season. We feel it is going to be a race for development.

“Every single time we put the car into the windtunnel, we find more gains and there is much more to come. So it was really about making sure that we have the systems in place – particularly suspension and gearbox.”

“We had so much deficit that we needed to make up in one car, so there are many things that are in that one and obviously there is more to come,” added Abiteboul.