Until last year you could pretty much guarantee that whoever qualified immediately in front of a Renault could count on being behind them again by the first corner.
But the double championship winners of the last two years ahve fallen from grace this season – and part of that seems to include their start line prowess as these videos show.
At last year’s Malaysian Grand Prix Fernando Alonso catapulted from seventh to third at the start – immediately flying past both McLarens:
The same super traction launched him from ninth to third at the United States Grand Prix in 2004:
But starting from eighth in this year’s Spanish race Heikki Kovalainen made no progress off the line:
Many people had guessed at the secret behind Renault’s super starts over the last few years. When launch control was banned for 2005 many foresaw the end to Renault’s great getaways – but it wasn’t.
Perhaps the key was the way Renault used its Michelin tyres? That has been blamed for much of the team’s loss of performance this year.
It seems that when the sport waved goodbye to Michelin, Renault also said farewell to its start line advantage.