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Launch car wasn't actually Renault's 2018 contender

NEWS STORY
25/02/2018

What has already been a lacklustre, low-key series of unveilings, with only a couple of teams appearing to put any real effort into it, took a further knock with Renault's admission that the images issued earlier this week were not so much the team's 2018 contender but rather its 2017 car 'dressed up' to show the team's new livery.

While in recent years some teams - Renault included - have opted for two launches, the first revealing the car and the second the livery, the French outfit opted to put style over substance, almost literally.

As a result is was essentially the 2017 car shown in Tuesday's pictures while the real RS18 made its debut at the Circuit de Catalunya yesterday (Saturday) for the inevitable filming day.

"To be extremely clear, the car that we showed in digital was really a presentation for the livery," said Abiteboul, according to Motorsport.com.

"I have seen on forums people trying to extrapolate things from it," he added. "Well, calm down guys, don't try to calculate the wheelbase because it will not be representative of anything!

"Like most teams we are going to develop until the last moment," he continued, speaking at the team presentation in Paris on Thursday, where amongst other things the French outfit revealed its 2018 team clothing range (get the picture?), "so that car is not representative of what will be shown in testing and in Melbourne there will be more to come. 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 carry over of last year," he said. Everything had to be better and more robust in terms of reliability, which has been the main focus. Really 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 wind tunnel, 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.

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