JANUARY 29, 2004
Renault launches the R24
The launch of the Renault R24 took place in the Teatro Massimo, in Palermo, Sicily with the French F1 team hoping that this year will be the year in which it begins to challenge the top Formula 1 teams.
"We must look to dislodge at least one of the teams above us in the championship," said Renault F1 chairman Patrick Faure. "Renault's targets for this year are, logically, placed higher, and in order to achieve them, absolute reliability will be critical. The correct steps were taken last year in order to ensure this, and we are confident we will attain this target."
The R24 is a development of the R23 but features a completely new 72-degree engine. The centre of gravity of this engine is 20mm higher than that of the 111-degree V10 from last year and the engine is 360mm high rather than last year's 305mm but the team says that with all the other changes made in the packaging of the engine the centre of gravity of the car is not much higher than was the case last year and says that there have been many gains made in other areas, specifically reliability as the 111-degree engine suffered serious problems with vibrations. The engine is completely new but is based on the architecture of the old Supertec engines because Renault felt that it had the necessary information about 72-degree engines and could incorporate all the lessons learned from the wide-angled engine into the design. The decision not to go for an all-new 90-degree V10 was taken because there was not time to do all the calculation necessary and it was felt to be too ambitious a leap for the team to consider. There will be a new 90-degree engine in 2005.
The car is lighter than last year which means that the ballast used to bring the car up to the minimum weight limit has been places as low down in the car as possible. Renault is confident that the new car is an improvement on last year and hopes that other teams have not made bigger improvements. We will not know that, however, until the F1 troops gather in Melbourne in five weeks from now.
|Print News Story|