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Renault confirms launch date for 2017 Formula 1 car

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Renault has confirmed that it will launch its car for the 2017 Formula 1 season, likely to be called the RS17, on February 21.

Renault returned to F1 as a constructor in 2016 after six seasons away, taking over the financially-stricken Lotus operation at Enstone.

With its focus laying on rebuilding the team in the long-term, Renault’s on-track fortunes in 2016 were of little note as it finished ninth in the constructors’ championship with just three points finishes to its name.

Renault will welcome Le Mans winner and recent Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg to its line-up for 2017, partnering the German with Jolyon Palmer, who is retained for a second year.

Renault confirmed on Friday that it will be unveiling its new car on February 21 before its first pre-season test run in Barcelona on February 27.

Confirmed 2017 F1 Launch Dates

February 21 – Renault
February 22 – Force India
February 23 – Mercedes
February 24 – Ferrari

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.