Renault launched its new F1 team as a full constructor outside their headquarters in Paris on Wednesday (3 February). The French car manufacturer repurchased the struggling Lotus team after selling the same team in 2010 to return to the sport for the 2016 F1 season.
Kevin Magnussen and rookie Joylon Palmer have been confirmed as their race drivers for the upcoming campaign after the former replaced Pastor Maldonado in the last minute owing to late payments from the Colombian sponsors. GP3 champion Esteban Ocon was confirmed as the reserve driver for 2016.
Renault unveiled a new livery on last season's Lotus E23, but admitted that the new car labelled the RS 16 will be unveiled at the first test to take place at Barcelona on 22 February. The livery, however, will change following tests ahead of the first Grand Prix at Albert Park in Australia.
"We are not launching [the RS16] but it will be at the test. It will be with this livery but it will be the 2016 car that we will be actually testing in Barcelona. Then closer to Melbourne there will be a reveal of what the final colour will look like," Renault Sport F1's managing director Cyril Abiteboul said, as quoted by ESPN F1.
The French team's managing director also confirmed that it was a completely new car, bearing no similarity to last year's car, after they passed crash tests earlier in the year. Renault, however, are not expecting instant success following their return to the sport, with CEO Carlos Ghosn conceding that it will take at least three years for them to challenge the top teams.
"It's a 2016 chassis homologated a couple of weeks ago with new crash tests and so and so forth. There have been a number of changes that have happened in order to make it compliant with the new regulations. It's a completely new car," Abiteboul added.