Renault has high hopes for their new 2019 F1 car R.S.19 which has to reduce the huge gap behind the top three teams – can Renault justify their factory team status and pull away from the rest of the Formula One midfield?
With the new driver Daniel Ricciardo, who is a proven multiple winner in Formula 1 and very good Nico Hulkenberg who still has no podium in F1, Renault hopes to make a significant step forward in 2019 and reduce the huge gap behind the leading three teams.
The first season of their comeback as the factory team in 2016 resulted in ninth place, in 2017 they were sixth and in 2018 they finished fourth, which is their realistic goal for this season.
Renault has released studio photographs of the new R.S.19 although tfor the presentation they used last year R.S.18 with aerodynamic elements for the 2019 F1 season like the wider and simpler front wing.
“When you walk in Enstone, you feel passion and dedication to racing. The first stage was a regeneration you can see it at every step in the factory which has been completely transformed and improved,” said Renault’s F1 chief Cyril Abiteboul.
“Everything has been improved in order to compete on the same level as the best teams.”
Abiteboul again said that in an effort to extract everything out of all components, they designed almost all new parts except the power steering since Renault’s technical structure has evolved significantly over the past two years.
Nose and front wing
Renault has retained the last year’s nose which is similar to Toro Rosso and Ferrari and front wing holders have one slit on each side (purple).
The front wing, as in all other 2019 F1 cars, is 200 mm wider and 20 mm longer and has five elements, without complex edges for the vortices generation while the endplates must be simple and rigid, without any slots and wings.
Renault’s front wing is different from the previously displayed 2019 F1 front wings on Haas and Toro Rosso – the main, lowest element (pink) has an exceptionally large chord and the central, 500 mm wide neutral section merges into this single element, unlike on Haas and Toro Rosso which central sections are merged into the first two elements.
That is why Renault uses the shorter remaining four elements with a higher angle of attack and slightly larger slits between the elements while the whole wing is facing outwards. Renault even uses metal connection elements to direct the airflow outward, which is particularly well seen in the photo bellow.
The S-duct system entrance (green) is visible in the above photo and its output is seen in the photo bellow (purple) above the number 27. Also, a narrow tunnel (blue) extends along the outer lower edge of the front wing endplate.
Renault didn’t show the vanes usually hanging from the nose behind the front wing so we can expect something to appear there for Barcelona test next Monday.
Front suspension and area behind the front wheels
Renault R.S.19 uses pushrod front suspension with double wishbones and the upper wishbone chassis mounting point is aggressively bent down to direct the air towards the bargeboard setup behind the front wheels and to the beginning of the floor (marked in yellow on the bottom photo).
The bargeboards behind the front wheels, which this year have to be lower, are conceptually similar to last year’s (turquoise) and in conjunction with the chassis they form a curved tunnel that leads the air to the beginning of the floor. At the base of the bargeboards there is acurved element (pink) that create strong vortices in this area, which has become a trend in recent years.
In front of the sidepod cooling inlets there is a triple vertical element (purple) that accepts and shapes the turbulent flow from the rotating front wheels and is structurally attached with the lateral safety structure (RS).
The next photo shows the area behind the front wheel from the bird’s eye that reveals the complex blade and slit structure that Renault has been using for the past two years and which helps to create vortices at the beginning of the floor for more consistent downforce at different speeds and ride heights.
Probably the key area of today’s F1 car where Renault decided to follow the trends set by Ferrari in 2017 and followed by Red Bull in 2018.
The sidepod intake (purple) is located between two lateral horizontal safety structures (pink) that are aerodynamically shaped and the top one is extended to the maximum width and its ending is not connected to any other element, just like on the 2018 Red Bull RB14.
The sidepod intake was moved up, to allow as much air to travel around the bottom part of the sidepod, and back, to make more space between the rotating front wheels and the intake and let the aero devices shape the flow before entering the radiators.
In the picture bellow, there are also very large front brake ducts (orange), as well as the main bargeboard behind the front wheels with some slots and the serrated base (turquoise).
Also, the top four front wing elements (yellow) can be seen from this perspective thanks to their high angle of attack (usually only the top three elements are visible from this perspective).
Renault’s engine cover in its upper part is somewhat slimmer than from Toro Rosso Honda STR14, but is definitely wider than on the Haas VF-19 with the Ferrari engine. One of the obvious reasons is certainly the wide airbox above the driver’s head (purple) below which there is another hard-to-see inlet (orange) whose exact shape is still unknown.
The main intake is divided into three parts with two vertical elements (yellow) while the central part delivers the air into the V6 engine, side channels cool the transmission oil and ERS.
Rear suspension and rear end
Thanks to the more efficient cooling and more aggressive integration of its R.E.19 power unit, Renault was able to have the lower rear end while the rear suspension is still a pullrod configuration with double wishbones.
The upper wishbone wheel pick-up point is elevated, as seen from the curved contours of the upper wishbone at that point, and the rear lower wishbone leg (yellow) is packed into a aero cover together with the driveshaft, a trend that has been set by Red Bull in 2009.
The pull rod (orange) has a very forward mounting point on the chassis to minimize the airflow obstruction in this sensitive area.
Rear wing carriers (pink) are double, which were used only by Ferrari and Haas last year while Mercedes has tested such a solution, and there is also some small monkey seat in the middle that use the hot and fast current of exhaust gas underneath to added a little downforce to the rear axle.
Renault seems to abandon the extremly high positioned exhausts for rear wing blowing, possibly because of 100 mm higher rear wing for this year or maybe because it wasn’t particulary rewarding thing to concentrate on.
The leading edge of the rear wing has a slit in its lower part (purple), while the floor in front of the rear wheels is very simple with two interesting aero details (green).
Renault R.S.19, at least on this studio pictures, has extreme rake angle (angle of the floor) which increases the diffuser volume, but makes it difficult to control and have consistent aerodynamic downforce in various ride height and speeds.
According to this photo, the rake of the car is about 2.5 degrees, but we still need to see whether Renault will use such a large rake in the Barcelona test which starts on Monday.