Formula 1 Renault

Lotus Renault GP unveils 2011 F1 car

Lotus Renault GP R31

The newly branded Lotus Renault GP team was the third outfit to show off its 2011 car at Valencia on the eve of official testing. The R31 was presented to the media throng by drivers Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov.

Full quotes and press texts are available after the break. However, with the new adjustable rear wings being such an integral feature of the 2011 cars, we thought it pertinent to highlight some quotes from Lotus Renault GP Technical Director, James Allison:

“It’s true to say that the car has been designed in an ambitious manner and a quick glance at the layout will confirm that its entire concept differs considerably, not just from last year’s car, but from any car this team has ever produced. Those changes represent our attempt to extract the absolute maximum aerodynamic performance from the regulations, which have changed quite significantly for this year, and to further develop the concept of using the exhausts to blow the floor.

“Every team will be looking for a wing that delivers the optimum compromise of downforce in the corners, while shedding the maximum drag down the straights – the better your wing can do that, the better your lap time will be in qualifying and the more competitive you will be in racing conditions. In terms of how powerful it is, the gains from adjusting the rear wing will be more significant than the gains we saw last year using f-ducts. But, like the f-duct, it’s far from straightforward aerodynamically and we’ve spent a great deal of time in CFD and the wind tunnel to make sure our concept delivers the best compromise.”

More after the break.

Ferrari Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz Red Bull Racing Renault

2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in pictures

2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Here is our last image gallery from the 2010 Formula One season. Bringing you these pics has been a fun, albeit labour intensive, addition to the AUSmotive routine and we look forward to bringing you more great pics in 2011.

For now, though, here are 101 photos from the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It is Sebastian Vettel’s time to shine; Mark Webber fans – you may want to look away now.

Ferrari Formula 1 Lotus McLaren Mercedes-Benz Red Bull Racing Renault

2010 Korean Grand Prix in pictures

2010 Korean Grand Prix

“Our Mark” binned it! Can you believe it. It was a race that promised so much; an opportunity for Webber to really intensify the pressure on his rivals. Instead, on a dramatic and soaking wet afternoon in Yeongam, Mark put it into the wall and he walked away empty handed. Pressure does strange things and amplifies the tiniest of indiscretions. It was a mistake that needn’t have happened. Webber cracked on Sunday.

Worse, it looked like his fiercest rival, Sebastien Vettel, was going to rub his nose in it with a comfortable victory. A win that would have put the young German 11 points ahead of Webber and the shift in power across the garage would likely have been irreversible. For Mark, at least, fate dealt a helping hand when a dominant Vettel was robbed of certain victory after his Renault engine disintegrated with no apparent warning.

Only too happy to watch the imploding Red Bulls ahead of him Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was there to pick up the pieces. He drove solidly and mostly kept himself out of trouble, despite the woeful light conditions towards the end of the race. Amazingly, he now finds himself 11 points ahead of Webber in the drivers’ title race. A few weeks back he was the fifth man in the chasing pack.

With just two more races to go, can Fernando hold off the inevitable challenge from those closest behind? Brazil is next and Webber is the defending race winner. How he would love an encore performance in two weeks time.

For now, though, catch up on all the drama from last weekend with 80 pics from the inaugural Korean Grand Prix.

Ferrari Formula 1 McLaren Mercedes-Benz Red Bull Racing

2010 Chinese Grand Prix in pictures

2010 Chinese GP

Rain in Shanghai ensured qualifying form was tipped upside down at yesterday’s 2010 Chinese Grand Prix. Jenson Button furthered his reputation as a rain master by winning his second wet race of the year. Teammate Lewis Hamilton was close behind as they crossed the line. MercedesGP driver Nico Rosberg continued his dominance over Michael Schumahcer to finish on the podium for the second race in succession.

Red Bull Racing have had a driver start from pole position every race this year. Unfortunately for them it hasn’t led to a race win for the pole man. Shanghai was no different, with both Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso getting past Sebastien Vettel off the line. Although, Alonso did jump the start and was forced to pit for a stop-go penalty. It was strategy and tyre choice, though, that undid Red Bull’s qualifying supremacy. Both drivers finished well below expectations—Vettel unable to follow his Malaysian GP victory with a podium and he finished in sixth, Webber further behind in eighth.

Four races in to the 2010 Formula One season and what do we make of Michael Schumacher’s comeback? It’s not gone to script, has it. Rosberg is to be commended for leading the way for MercedesGP so far in 2010. And while Schumacher has shown moments of raw pace, he is yet to string together the consistency required to see him challenging for a podium finish. Rosberg out qualified Schumi here in China, which means, for the first time, Schumacher has been out qualified by his teammate for four races in succession.

Quotes from drivers and team principals are now available on You can also enjoy a total of 50 images from the Chinese GP here on AUSmotive, check them out below.

Ferrari Formula 1 Lotus Mercedes-Benz Red Bull Racing Renault

2010 Australian GP in pictures

2010 Australian Grand Prix

It’s safe to say that the final result in the 2010 Australian Grand Prix is not on the majority of Australian F1 fans were hoping for. Local boy Mark Webber had his best chance yet to win his home race. He qualified on the front row, alongside pole sitter and teammate Sebastien Vettel.

However, through a combination of poor tyre strategy and some over exuberance on his own part, Webber’s race ended in tears after a coming together with Lewis Hamilton with two laps to go while fighting for minor placings. Finally, Webber regathered himself to stumble home in ninth place.

Just as in Bahrain, Vettel looked like he was just out for a lazy Sunday drive. He held a comfortable lead until his front left brake rotor exploded and sent him crashing out.

This left Button in the lead after he put his fortunes in the hands of an early switch to slick tyres on lap six. A move that eventually took the reigning champ from zero to hero. From then on it was a case of managing tyres and through a combination of cooler weather and a smooth driving style Button was able to complete the race on the softer compound tyres.

So, then, it has taken Button just two races to get the better of Hamilton. And do you think the 2008 World Champion was happy about that fact? Not on your life. It had Hamilton blowing smoke of a different kind with stern questions asked of his team and the tyre strategy his team employed. Apparently he deserved better.

Well, that’s enough commentary, let’s look at some pics. After the jump you can feast your eyes on over 50 of the best images from the Australian Grand Prix weekend. Teams featured include Red Bull Racing, Renault, Ferrari, MercedesGP, Williams, Lotus and Virgin Racing. See a pic you like, then simply click on it to load a 2000px super image.

Next weekend it all starts again, with the Malaysian Grand Prix from Sepang. Can Red Bull Racing finally find some luck and land a win that their current early season pace would indicate they deserve?

Formula 1 Renault

17 men, three and a half seconds

Renault F1 pit crew

According to the Renault F1 team 3.5 seconds is all it will take to service an F1 car in 2010. That is, with the newly introduced ban on refuelling, their target time for changing a full set of tyres is under four seconds.

Renault F1 Team Sporting Director Steve Nielsen explains, “Three and a half seconds will be a decent stop, which has halved the time available for the crew to service the car compared to last year.”

If those numbers don’t confuddle your mind enough, then consider this, the Renault F1 website states the team has endured five hours of tyre change practice and that they have already managed to complete a number of stops in under three seconds. One, two, three, done. Amazing!

[Source: Renault F1]

Formula 1

Webber leads the pack at Jerez – photo gallery

F1 pre-season testing, Jerez, February 2010

Formula One pre-season testing at Jerez finally saw some sunshine overnight and Australia’s Mark Webber made the most hay while it did. Webber piloted his Red Bull RB6 to the quickest time posted at Jerez so far in 2010 with a time of 1:19.299. Last week Lewis Hamilton topped the sheets with his lap of 1:19.583.

A full list of times from last night can be seen below, with the dry weather allowing all teams to record their best times for the week.

Mark Webber isn’t getting ahead of himself, though, and he knows pre-season form doesn’t count for much. Speaking to he said, “I promise you that in Malaysia we won’t be talking about the second test in Jerez, things change fast in F1.”

Fernando Alonso was second fastest last night (1.20.115) and the word on the street is that the Ferrari F10 is shaping up as the car to beat in 2010.

After the jump you can see a gallery of pics featuring Ferrari, Lotus, Mercedes GP, Red Bull, Renault and Toro Rosso.

The final day of testing will start in a couple of hours and the only change to the original schedule will see Jenson Button behind the wheel of the McLaren instead of Hamilton. You can follow all the action by reading AUSmotive’s F1 list on twitter. Also keep an eye on the website for their live updates as well.

Ferrari Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz Renault

Formula One pre-season – Valencia photo gallery

F1 testing @ Valencia

There’s only a couple of days until Formula One pre-season testing resumes at Jerez (10-13 February). To help get you in the mood here is a 50-strong gallery of images featuring pics from Ferrari, MercedesGP, Renault and Williams. As usual you can click on your favourite images to load 2000px wallpaper-friendly sizing.

At the completion of the Valencia testing Ferrari was showing the rest of the field a clean pair of heels, with Fernando Alonso posting the quickest time (1:11.470), just three tenths ahead of teammate Felipe Massa (1:11.722).

Alonso, in front of over 35,000 parochial Spanish fans, was pleased with his time behind the wheel of the new F10, “The car went well and it was fast; it had a good set up, too, which is positive.”

He continued, “It’s absolutely impossible to say where we stand compared to the others. To be competitive you need a reliable car and we’re on the right track. The technicians have lots of data now to prepare us the best possible way for the next tests.”

Formula 1 Renault

Renault unveils 2010 F1 car

Renault R30 - 2010 F1 car

The wraps came off Renault’s new R30 at Valenica overnight. It looks pretty much as expected, and this car marks the start of a new era for Renault. In 2010 the team starts under a radically revised ownership regime and with two new drivers the team can now go forward and forge a new identity far removed from the shadow of the 2008 ‘crashgate‘ scandal.

We already knew that Robert Kubica was on board with Renault for the 2010 season and now the strong rumours of being joined by the first Russian in Formula One have been confirmed with the announcement of 25-year-old Vitaly Petrov as Renault’s second driver.

Reminiscent of previous Jordan paint schemes, the new R30 looks great, although Renault will be hoping it can fill the sponsorship void sooner, rather than later. There’s plenty of images of the R30 available after the jump, although so far all manufacturers have remained coy about showing the rear of their cars. I guess we’ll get a look at the rear diffusers later today during testing.

In addition to the pics there’s press statements from the major players and a YouTube clip showing off the new R30. When you’re done looking at all this why not take a peak at the new Renault F1 website.

Fifth Gear Renault

Fifth Gear dogfight: Renault Megane R26.R v Caterham CDX

Renault makes some might fine hot hatchery, and the Megane R26.R has to be up there as one of their best. But surely Renault’s latest balls out track special is no match for a raw, lithe and uncompromising Caterham?

Join Fifth Gear’s Tiff Needell to find out. Be prepared from some froggy cornering goodness.


2009 Renault Clio III Phase 2 promo video

As the title says. For more info on the Renault Clio III Phase 2 update read today’s earlier entry.

News Renault

Renault Clio III enters phase 2

Renault Clio III Phase 2 GT

Renault have just revealed images of the updated Renault Clio III. The Phase 2 update, including the all new GT model in these pics, will be revealed in full at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show next month.

The first iteration of the Clio III was a much greater design success than the previous model, which was a bit of a mish mash it has to be said. Looking at these new pics of the updated Clio III, it seems as though Renault is returning to that mish mash look, with the squared off grille being at odds with the rest of the car.

Oddly, even though images of the Phase 2 update have been revealed in GT model form, there is nothing else available at this stage confirming  engine or performance specs. For there is one thing certain, it doesn’t matter what the Clio looks like, it is a damn fun car to drive.

The other notable feature with the upgrade s the Carminat TomTom GPS navigation system. The fully integrated screen will cost less than £500 (AU$1100) and promises to be easy to update.

Although, judging by the lateness with which the first Clio III arrived in Australia, and then only in Renaultsport guise, it is unlikely we’ll be seeing this Phase 2 Clio III in Australia any time soon.

More pics and press material after the jump.