Formula 1: New Renault R30 presented

Formula 1: Presentation of the Renault R30
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It was a presentation with a surprise effect. What was shown as the new Renault R30 , was just a show car. The engineers claim, however, that the real Renault R30 won't look much different. If it were so, it differs significantly from the new models shown so far by Ferrari , McLaren and S auber .

Actually it looks like a previous year's model in the Renault corporate colors yellow and black. The same clumsy nose, the same sweeping side pods, the same boring design. Anyone who has seen the Renault R30 in Valencia wonders: What have the engineers done over the winter?

With its relatively low nose and the full side pods that only come out flat at the back, it deviates significantly from the trend of the 2010 vehicle generation. In the background the story goes: This Renault will not look fundamentally different until the season opener in Bahrain, and the great evolution will follow at the Canadian GP in June. If not: then good night Robert Kubica.

Renault sponsors still in short supply

GĂ©rard Lopez, who owns 75 percent of the racing team with his investment company Genii Capital, meanwhile made a good mood: 'The marriage between Renault and us is designed for the long term. It will be a new form of cooperation. We offer sponsors not only advertising space, but a platform for business with other partners in the team.' The fact that the Renault is still relatively untainted in its new colors does not make Lopez nervous: 'That will change soon. Let's reorganize the team first.'

The Spaniard, who resides with his companies in Luxembourg, denies rumors that Genii will sell his purchase at a profit after a few years: 'As an investment company, we are used to buying companies and making them again at a profit That is not planned in this case. We want to build a platform that will help Renault and us. '

Budget is 83 percent of theLast year

How serious Renault is, Lopez is based on two figures: 'With 480 employees we are the second largest team. It would have been easy to cut people and save money.' The 2010 budget is exactly 83 percent of what Renault spent last year. In view of the austerity measures in Formula 1, that would be a surprising amount. Accordingly, the plan of the new shareholders is ambitious: 'Our goal for the season is to catch up with the top teams with the aim of winning races again from 2011 onwards.'

Robert Kubica believes in his new team. 'The attitude is right. Sometimes that's more important than money.' But he also knows that his racing team has to make a great effort to get back to where they were in 2005 and 2006. 'Renault comes from the worst position compared to the other top teams. That's why we have to take two steps if the others do one.'

Kubica remains optimistic

Then the Pole allows himself a little criticism of his former BMW team: 'A big budget is not everything. Money gives you the comfort of being able to do anything, but it doesn't buy you wins. There have been teams in the past that had more money than the winners and still couldn't win a race. '

When Kubica signed his new two-year contract , he assumed he was driving for a works team. Renault is now 75 percent privatized. And in between there were even rumors that the store would be closed completely. 'That's why I didn't have any sleepless nights,' explains the fourth place in the 2008 World Cup. 'When the team was partly sold, I asked exactly what the new team management was planning. That impressed me. The attitude of the people was perfect on my wavelength. There are real racers at work. ' Kubica is still amused by an anecdote in Abu Dhabi. 'A journalist came up to me and asked me if I would have preferred to sign with Toyota. He heard that Renault was quitting. Three days later, Toyota resigned and Renault is still there.'

Petrov comes with money and talent

Vitaly Petrov paid for his seat. His father and friends provided the dowry. 'I don't have sponsors from Russia yet. They have to wake up now.' At two in the morning, the 25-year-old Russian signed his one-year contract with a two-year option. 'A dream comes true,' beamed the second in the GP2 series in 2009.

Gerard Lopez denies that Petrov's millions was the decisive factor for his commitment: 'We didn't hire Vitaly because of his dowry. If it did If we had only been concerned about finances, we could have brought in drivers who would have brought twice as much money. And even if one driver contributed seven percent to the team budget, that wouldn't help the team in the long term. Petrov is with us because weare convinced of his qualities as a racing driver. And it opens the doors to the Russian market for us. '


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