Renault R29 revealed in Portugal – pictures (2009 F1 car launches)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Renault R29 - 2009 F1 car
Renault R29 - 2009 F1 car

Renault’s 2009 F1 car has broken cover. The R29 is the car they hope will improve on the performance of the R28 (two wins last year) and propel Fernando Alonso into contention for the drivers’ championship.

The first pictures of the new Renault R29 are below.

Update: Is this how the Renault R29 was supposed to look?

Alonso starts his sixth season for Renault alongside Nelson Piquet Jnr, who was a rookie in 2008.

Click once to previes, click again for high resolution version.

Images (C) Renault/LAT

103 comments on “Renault R29 revealed in Portugal – pictures (2009 F1 car launches)”

  1. Pedro Andrade
    19th January 2009, 9:55

    Baby-vomit livery.

  2. oooo the old paint job was nice, that’s just horrid…

  3. We have a winner for the worst-looking 2009 formula 1 car…

  4. I just hope this car is fast …
    if not this will be just a joke …

  5. my god!! how can that car be fast, it seems imposible.
    It can become a world champion… in the worst looking cars list, in the history of the sport.

  6. The ING livery was never great but this is even worse. The wedge shaped nose, shark fin engine cover and acres of rear bodywork don’t help – currently the leading contender for ugliest car of the year.


    Kudos to whoever came up with a livery even worse than the 07/08 one, thats some achievement!

  8. I thought for a second that McDonald’s had become Renault’s new sponsor.

    Awful looking livery.

  9. Looks like a Hotwheels or a Transformer….

  10. now i know why there’s more photos of the team and helmets rather than the car…

  11. I think I just threw up in the back of my mouth a little.

    That car is nasty, and it’s giving me a migraine.

  12. Horrible from every angle, and way too bright for a Monday morning. Particularly the big ING billboard on the back. I hope it blows over in a crosswind.

    No wonder Alonso’s signed for Ferrari, he’s had enough of looking ridiculous

  13. Yuk Yuk Yuk Yuk Yuk!

    What a disgustingly appalling disgrace to the grid. What phenomenal catastrophe has bestowed Renault and their sponsors to roll out such a vile looking sick-for-an-excuse-of-a-car? Can you actually make it anymore hideously horrendous if you tried??

    If it doesn’t do well then might as well tie the fat lady, who can sing, to it.

    Someone should lose their job for this monstrosity.

    ….and *breathes*…

  14. I hope it will be as fast as ugly !

    1. Pedro Andrade
      19th January 2009, 10:53

      If it is as fast as it is ugly then Renault will walk away with both championships.

  15. these guys are breaking the record for UBER-UGLY car :-) :-) :-) with this livery they outclass BMW and Toyota by lightyears! :-)

    poor Alonso :-(

  16. So please tell me there’s a mix up and this is an interim livery…

    Also, I thought the shark fin engine covers were banned this year???

    1. Toyota didn’t have one on their launch car but when they debuted it on track yesterday it had a shark fin.

      First spec change to the car less than 3 days after being launched.

  17. The nose is horrible. The shark fin is horrible. The livery is horrible. The car is horrible.

  18. Is there any chance of being hidden the real car? I read somewhere that Alonso said “the car in January is not going to be the one in March”
    Are they trying to avoid being spied their aerodynamics? I hope so :-((

  19. holy crap thats the ugliest car I have seen in a long while

    At the time I never thought I would say it, but I really miss the liveries Alonso had in his championship years!

  20. I think Renault will win this year ‘cos all other cars will want to stay very far from this ugly looking thing. Don’t like the front nose at all. I think it will look a lot different at Melbourne, but the livery can’t change… and that’s a problem! But the rules are crazy different, so the car with the most radical change in design from last year may have a chance. Still ugly… or fugly… or blfugly!

  21. The forced expression in Uncle Flav and the driver´s faces says it all : the ugliest livery in F1 history. Among other things, the distribution of colour areas makes the car look fat and ungraceful : that large white area at the widest part of the car, around the air intakes, is like if a man with a very big beer belly wears a white t-shirt. The most basic rules of design have been disregarded.
    By this action, the team has cheapened the market value of their sponsors : it makes ING and Renault look like cheap brands. On the contrary, any sponsor whose name appears on the elegant McLaren will automatically be perceived as a classy brand.
    What Renault has done goes against all rules of marketing and good busines procedures. If I were ING I would order a new livery unveiled for the first race in Australia.

    However, I hope that they are very fast and they contribute to a close 2009 season ! good luck !

  22. It doesn’t look *quite* so bad front-end on. The orange stripes all but disappear, and the sections of white and yellow are better balanced.

  23. I think the livery looks way better, it’s just the car is a bit ugly, especially the nose.

    1. Mandev theorum
      19th January 2009, 16:33

      I completely agree with you. I think the livery looks good!!!

  24. Makes me vomit and 2007-2008 liveries look fantastic!

  25. Its weird, nothing lines up!

    Look at the orange on the overhead air intake, it doesn’t carry onto the sharkfin. It needlessly dips down and becomes a line rather than solid.

    And on the side of the nose, the yellow-white diagonal border on the side doesn’t line up with the red-white diagonal border on the under-nose fin.

    Its almost like a 5 year old did the colouring in, just basic stuff which makes the whole paint look disjointed.

    If they fixed those up so the whole thing flowed more along the car it would look so much better.

  26. yorricksfriend
    19th January 2009, 12:17

    seems to be a negative response to this livery.. i like it though

  27. F1 Technical explains the front nose:

    The front wing itself of course features the FIA-templated middle section, but apart from that is a very particular design. The moveable flaps are kept fairly simple, but are more forward than on any other car seen so far. Having these positioned more forward is beneficial for the aerodynamic properties of the whole car, basically for the same reason as increasing the wheelbase would be.

  28. Worst looking 2009 car launched yet. That front nose looks big and quite boxy, like something I would expect to see in a lower Formula.

    I thought the blue/yellow paint scheme they had upto 2006 was good, the last two years not so good but it eventualy grew on me. But this new paint scheme has to be one of the worst for a top team in quite a while.

  29. The way this car looks has nothing to do how fast it will go around the track. I say it’s a very original design. What I want to know is this, all of the cars so far except Ferrari and their fans Toyota, who have a blind hope in Ferrari design, have gone with the most obvious route of using sidepods for compensating lost downforce, they shaped sidepods in a way to make up for the banned aero parts. While Ferrari and Toyota have gone with the old toute and made the sidepods even tighter at the back. Why? Either Ferrari is wrong or all the other teams are.

  30. omg.. omg.. now even the 2008 renault looks very beautiful now..

  31. schumi the greatest
    19th January 2009, 13:51

    the nose looks terrible if you look “back at it”

    hope renault have got it right this year so we can see fernando v lewis part 2!

  32. Ugly corours. I hate the combination of the shark fin and new body lines. It’s still better than TF109 though…

  33. Regarding the livery, I’m glad they’ve gotten rid of the blue – I’ve never liked it since the first ‘new era’ Renault in 2002. To me this marks a step towards the classic old Renault liveries – although nothing like as cool as the one-off yellow and black retro paint scheme they created in 2007.

    So we now have yellow-white-orange-red instead of yellow-white-orange-blue. I think the red is a better fit than the blue.

    But my, have they ever done a bad job of designing the car based around those colours? All those lines at the back make it way too busy, and the cumbersome shape of the vertical extension on the side of the front nose doesn’t help.

    Worst-looking 2009 car so far? I’m afraid so.

    If you reckon you can do better send in your 2009 F1 car designs here.

  34. Begs the question; who’s going to be buying 2009 Renault Merchandise this year?


  35. The new livery does not look good, the previous one is much better. If they’re planning to put more yellow, then they should follow the classic “all yellow” Renault.

    Btw, I missed the old Mild Seven Renault F1 livery. :(

  36. In some respects, maybe Alonso likes the colour scheme as it harks back to the championship winning pairing of his Asturias flag’s colours to his Renaults livery back then.

    Except now, it’s the Spanish flag colours.

    Maybe an omen (most likely not, as was the coincidence the first time round).

  37. It is rather ugly isn’t it… Yellow? I know sponsors dictate… Where is the cool blue? Alonso will make it fast… He has the same knack of doing that as Schumacher…

  38. Captain Caveman
    19th January 2009, 14:10

    @ avto

    I would have to agree, it is hard to see the design of the car with the current livery, but if you have the chance to view the files (images) in black and white, it become clearer as to what they are trying to do.

    In B&W the car looks quite nice and elegant, although I am undecided about the nose. It seems a deliberate ploy not to convey to the world, what they have planned for the first race.

    But hey, at least we have something to talk about now. ( Could even have been last minute changes to accommodate fact that car failed it crash/chassis test last week)

    Hey here is a thought, adjust your TV’s to B&W and with a bit of luck if there is any overtaking we can reminisce and pretend we are back in the 40’s

    As for sponsors, if it does tie into their corporate colours, then they have their own marketing departments to blame.

  39. i cant stop crying, it’s so goddamn ugly. could this be a decoy? look at the car at the very top of the team page. very different nose, same ugly livery.

    1. I can’t see any different picture on there I’m afraid Luke. The reaction to the car by Renault’s fans is quite different to on here though.

    2. Keith, I’m sure this is the banner image he was speaking of

      If you look closely, the nose cone is longer and lower making the nose section look like a 2008-2009 hybrid part.

    3. Ah thanks for that Praveek – I wonder if this was their original nose design before it failed the crash test?

  40. OMG….. I can’t feel my eyes :'(

    Isn’t Total supposed to be new to F1???

    1. I think Jordan had Total on their B&H car.

    2. Why are people complaining about the colours? Look at that nose!

  41. Keith, its the car in the top banner. check out the nose, looks like last year’s.

    1. I’m pretty sure that is last year’s car, at Singapore – you can see the dark blue of the old livery.

  42. Cant say the colour scheme annoys me as much as other ppl, the blue/yellow needed a change – and last year’s looked abit like cat puke tbh. This year’s one is abit different and i dont mind it.

    Good plans to have the shark-fin on the car for the launch, as Alonso has said a couple of weeks ago – the car we launch wont be what we race. Renault are trying to keep things quiet.

    Romain De Grosjean as 3rd driver isn’t a bad idea – alike Piquet, Kovalinen, Flav likes picking young drivers and establishing them in the team b4 giving them a drive. Feel a tad sorry for Di Grassi but i guess he’s the type who wants to be driving in a race seat somewhere.

  43. well… I actually like it a bit :P
    but there is 1 thing what is very clearly: you are blind if you can’t find this car on the grid

  44. Oh yes- the ugliest 2009 F1 car. My, its even worse than that BMW prototype. Lets see if BMW can beat Renault in uglyness tomorrow.

  45. It’s butt-ugly, and the nose-on view in particular is awful. Side on it’s not that bad, I guess.

    Having said that, I’m loathe to criticise them for the simple reason that they are at least distinct, given that over the past few seasons everyone else has been either mostly red, mostly white or mostly dark blue, Mclaren excepted.

  46. Does that nose remind anyone else of the nose of the Williams Walrus car a few years back. Not how the wing attaches, but the width of the nose-cone itself.

    Would be interesting to know if any of the designers at Renault used to work at Williams..!!

  47. Maybe the ugly color scheme is to hide the ugly bodywork? […barf…] Excuse me.

  48. Somehow I have the feeling that the car will be fast and that Alonso has a good chance of winning the WDC. At the very least he will be up there fighting for it.
    This ugly livery however will make the car go slower due to the embarrasement of the drivers ( about 0,15 secs. per lap ) On the contrary, driving the elegant Mclaren must give the drivers such pride, that they go 0,15 secs. per lap faster.
    So, in spite of the 0,3 secs per lap disadvantage because of ugliness of livery, I think the car itself will be a good design and fast.

  49. Ugh thats the WORST livery i’ve seen in recent times….

  50. awful nose…

  51. keith, what photo are you looking at? when you click on the link, thare is a banner at the top of the page with two pics, one i s a 3/4 view, and one is a side detail. the car has the brand new livery, this years front wings with TOTAL sponsorship, and it has a different nose. it’s right at the top. i can email it to you

    1. It does look very much like this year’s car apart from the nose. Same wings, same rhubarb and custard livery and same heavily sculpted bodywork.

      Perhaps the nose on that car is one that failed the crash tests and the nose on the launch car is a temporary one…though it’s a little too innovative to be temporary methinks….

      Wouldn’t be the first ugly car to be fast…

  52. Even as a fan of the team, I have to admit this car is far from a looker. I’m blaming the EU for this, because it’s because of the tobacco sponsorship ban that we have these liveries now instead of the Mild Seven livery, which especially in 2004-2006 looked brilliant.

    I just hope it’s fast. Unfortunately, we have 2 very long months until we can actually find out… As for the car itself, there are some very interesting touches. Combined with an upgraded engine, hopefully this will get the team back towards the top.

  53. StrFerrari4Ever
    19th January 2009, 16:17

    my renault’s livery is just so disgusting the mild seven one and team spirit one was good especially at france when they had a special design but now its just a complete joke and that nose looks weird hopefully it will look better as the season progresses cant wait for str tho that big bull will look as mad as ever without all those aerobits

  54. I’ll be contrarian and say that I quite like it. I love the curved sidepod design, it’s very flowing. The whole look of the car is let down by the shark fin though, without that it would look really slick.

  55. This car looks like a mash-up of condiments: mustard, ketchup, and mayo. Gorgeous.

  56. This is the ugliest F1 car since the williams tusk car.

  57. I like the fact that the BBC’s F1 site, which has to be neutral, described the car as “vivid” – the ultimate understatement.

  58. The annoying thing is, if the colour and shark fin were gone, the pictures of the back of the car, especially around the exhaust, looks really elegant. Also, I saw a picture of McLarens first test and they ran a 2008 wing. I thought the point of unveiling a new car was to test it.

  59. Ugliest car since the 2001 Minardi which incidentally was also driven by Alonso.

  60. What to say, I’m out of words.

    I only hope the car will be fast and competitive, if not, somebody will have to pay for making the ugliest design of the grid (up to now).

    The downside of the nose looks quite strange. It seems like an independent piece that has been added for some reason. (¿Crash Test? ¿Hiding the real design?)

  61. I think it looks fine. I was going to say the nose looks pretty raw until i saw that f1technical link Keith posted, one has to wonder if they’re onto something. On the other hand I also recall ALonso saying this would be totally different from what they’d use in Melbourne.

    EDIT: does anyone know what the letter E below and on each side of the air intake stands for? it’s very hard to see on this Renault, but most other F1 cars have a large ‘E’ right there. I know the N in front of the cockpit is to let marshals et al know where to manually set the car in neutral, but this E i have no clue

    1. The E means a partially exposed electrical connector as far as I know. At least in the early 1990s The E marked the slots into which the onboard cameras could be plugged.

  62. Hmm, appears that this car’s been in a fight and has got a swollen nose as a result. Still, at least the livery’s a bit more co-ordinated than before, with a definite Spanish flavour…

  63. Get rid of the garish red and replace it with a darker colour and voila!

    A half-decent looking car!

    1. Pedro Andrade
      19th January 2009, 19:49

      The front of the car still looks ugly, but that new livery improves it a lot. Good work, ever considered applying for a job at Renault? ;)

    2. Chicken McNuggets
      20th January 2009, 15:43

      Notwithstanding the technicality that Total’s colours aren’t black, of course.

  64. Victor, thanks!

    Dank, I had seen another version with more yellow, but the black one looks better. Also note a small nosejob on both :)

  65. OH WELL!…..we won’t have a hard time spotting THAT one on the track will we?

    I think my eyes are still crossed!

  66. StrFerrari4Ever
    19th January 2009, 20:13

    who knows maybe total and elf could combine and give renault some superoil or bring back jungle juice like in turbo era :) just a thought

  67. I’m finding I can’t look at it, the livery with the stripes on the shark fin are messing with my eyes.

  68. Have Renault hired the (soon-to-be) laid-off Honda engineers who conceived the Dumbo ears and tasked them with designing their front nose? Or maybe they brought aboard the old Williams wrenches who gave us the brilliant Walrus nose. Either their engineers have discovered something that’s going to be absolutely brilliant, or that car won’t make knock-out qualifying once this year.

    That’s a horrible looking car; there’s no way around it. I didn’t think the 2009 spec BMW that we’ve seen in testing could be topped in its horrible appearance, but it truly has. For one, how can Renault forgo the French blue? That seems criminal to me.

  69. Also, I see that Ferrari have kept the Shark Fin. Hasn’t this been banned as a part of the scrapping of aerodynamic attachments?

    1. No, ‘shark fins’ (or ‘anvils’) are legal.

  70. Get rid of the garish red and replace it with a darker colour and voila!
    A half-decent looking car!

    That works, I like it.

  71. To Loki and K,
    Maybe Alonso has in his contract that he is allowed to paint the cars himself?
    Regarding the old blue renaults, no, the cyan color was not meant as a reference to Asturias, it was in other marketing things before, it was accidentally just a PERFECT match to the asturian flag, made even better by using the same yellow of the flag too. I recall being in Germany at the time and Niki Lauda getting it completely wrong for the TV. I think the race was Barcelona and there was this grandstand with dozens of gigantic Asturis’ flags. He was impressed that so many people had come to the race with Renault flags… That was on friday practice and he must have had somebody correct him because the next day he explained that they were not Renault flags, but Oviedo flags, wrong again!

  72. Lets hope it goes fast!

    It needs a dark shade or two to improve the livery I believe, but it would be better of they just re-do the livery. I didn’t expect anyone to be worse than Force India, but this one takes the cake!

    How the hell am I going to buy my customary Fernando Alonso merchandise this season?!..crap!

  73. I own a Megane and think it looks good, but this is ugly!

  74. ugliest car of the current launched cars..yuck..really crappy look, crappy liveries, another colour added to the bunch of colours…dang…

  75. Keith,

    Do you have a place where I can read a condensed, yet detailed, version of the new technical regulations, so I can see for myself what’s legal and what’s not? Because it’s quite disconcerting to see things like that Shark Fin on the Renault and the “Bridgelets” on the Ferrari front wing while being under the impression that such devices are now banned. Thanks.

  76. I actually don’t mind the colour scheme – at least you’ll be able to see it on track. And no danger of mistaking it for another team !

    While perhaps it could be a bit tidier, overall, a splash of colour appeals to me.

    Won’t be buying any team merchandise this year, though ;)

  77. It’s growing on me since yesterday. Who knows what a few wins will do. I may even buy the merchandise. All that matters to me is that it’s fast, and by the comments coming out of Renault about how happy they are with the wind tunnel testing, I’m sure the aero package is as good as it is different. I’d like to know more about the chassis. The Renaults guys also say that they’ve got back most over the engine power deficit, and they were very innovative with other aspects of the car last season, which may still be able to be translated into this package regardless of the rule changes. I’m optimistic, and Alonso seems to be as well.

  78. Seems like the when the designers threw-up all over the blueprints, it translated into everything else.

  79. I’m somewhere inbetween shocked/horrified and laughing. I’m guessing Alonso is getting paid more this year?, he’d have to be to be seen dead in that. Poor guy. Whoever designed the livery needs putting out of their obvious misery! =/
    I just hope its fast, but it doesn’t look like it wants to be. I think I will have to mute the colours on my tv come F1 time. Shocking! awful! ergh!

  80. u kno the 2009 cars were starting to grown on me after seeing mclaren, ferrari and williams, but then renault and bmw completely spoiled it! i think the FIA & FOTA needa to make restrictions on how many different colors can be used on a car and ban colors that can temporarily blind other drivers!!

  81. I made it my screen saver as a shock treatment when I get drowsy…….works like a charm!

    The nose is so clumsy it has to be an interim design. But it is so ponderous I’d be embarrassed to show it.

  82. Looks to me like the realy old f1 cars from some angles with the big nose etc

  83. That is the most disgusting F1 car I have ever seen the colours don’t even match. Who the hell thought it would be a great idea to have red with orange and yellow a mean come on Renault you could have thought of better a colour to go with the yellow and orange.

  84. Poor F1 cars for these 2009!! and too bad for all of us!! What other things will be for 2010??? No doubt, the ugliest car ever…

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