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Renault reveals R.S.17 Formula 1 car for 2017 season

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Renault has taken the wraps off its new Formula 1 car that will race through the 2017 season, the R.S.17.

The new car was unveiled at an event in London, England, with drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Jolyon Palmer on-hand for the launch alongside senior team management.

Renault has retained part of its striking yellow livery from 2016, as well as incorporating more black towards the rear of the R.S.17.

Livery aside, the car’s design is significantly different to that of its predecessor following the introduction of new technical regulations for the 2017 season.

Renault technical director Bob Bell said that teams are expecting the cars to produce 30 per cent more downforce this year, and will be “a hell of a lot more exciting” on-track.

Renault finished ninth in last year’s constructors’ championship as the impact of the Lotus operation’s financial issues hit the team hard following its takeover.

Managing director Cyril Abiteboul expressed his confidence for the year ahead, saying that Renault is the fastest-growing F1 team in a number of areas and is capable of a top-five finish in this year’s standings.

Renault also confirmed that Russian youngster Sergey Sirotkin will continue to work with the team in a reserve role, and will get more Friday practice run-outs through the 2017 F1 season.

F1 legend Alain Prost will also become more involved in Renault’s F1 project this year, taking up the role of special adviser. Prost has been a Renault ambassador for some time, but had been mainly concentrating on its Formula E interests with e.dams in recent years.

F1 2017 driver review: Romain Grosjean

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Romain Grosjean

Team: Haas
Car No.: 8
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P6 (Austria)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 28
Championship Position: 13th

After leading Haas’ charge through its debut Formula 1 season in 2016, Romain Grosjean once again stepped up as team leader for the American team through its sophomore campaign despite scoring one point fewer.

Haas did not expect any major step in performance heading into 2017, having dealt with building all-new cars for two different sets of regulations, but the team was able to match its season one points total by the halfway mark this time around.

The big boost was the addition of a second points scoring driver – Kevin Magnussen – to partner Grosjean. Grosjean looked increasingly comfortable at Haas even if the car often presented problems, particularly under braking.

Radio rants were frequent, with Grosjean unable to drive around the issues as Magnussen did. But he was nevertheless able to finish the year as Haas’ top scorer, with his highlight moment being a perfect run to sixth in Austria.

Greater consistency was evident from both Grosjean and Haas through 2017, yet there were still swings in form that need to be ironed out in the future. The team was unable to capitalize on Renault and Toro Rosso’s late season difficulties that could have seen it jump to sixth in the constructors’ championship.

Grosjean once again proved himself to be a very competent and talented racer through 2017, but needs a little more panache – perhaps down to the car more than anything – if he is to put himself in the frame for a top-line drive in the future.

Haas continues to offer a good platform, though, and its third season should be its best yet thanks to the stability in the regulations. It will be a real chance for Grosjean to show what he can do.

Season High: A perfect run to sixth in Austria, leading the midfield cars.

Season Low: Crashing early with Ocon in Brazil, hurting Haas’ constructors’ hopes.