2010 Renault R30 and 2009 Renault R29 compared (Pictures)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

2010 Renault R30 and 2009 Renault R29 (click to enlarge)
2010 Renault R30 and 2009 Renault R29 (click to enlarge)

Renault launched their R30 today and after everyone took a moment to take in their smart new livery a cry went up of “hang on, isn’t that last year’s car?”

They called it the R30 and they spoke of how different it is to the car it replaces – but it certainly isn’t easy to spot the changes. Was this really the R30?

Renault technical director James Allison reckons there’s significant and obvious differences between the R30 and last year’s R29:

It’s very different and even my Mum could tell the exterior differences! The R30 is a considerably more svelte and attractive car than its predecessor. These changes are not made for aesthetic appeal however; they are the result of the intensive aerodynamic development that the R30 has benefited from. Under the skin too the changes are considerable. The largest differences are the result of accommodating the much larger fuel tank for the 2010 rules and re-optimising the car without KERS, but there are hundreds of other improvements across the whole of the vehicle.
James Allison

But look at the studio pictures of the two cars in launch specification and it’s hard to pinpoint where the changes are.

According to Renault, the R30 is 5,050mm long, making it 250mm longer than last year’s car. But looking at this year’s and last year’s Renault side-by-side there seems to be little different in overall length:

2010 Renault R30 and 2009 Renault R29 (click to enlarge)
2010 Renault R30 and 2009 Renault R29 (click to enlarge)

Images scaled so rear tyre diameters match.

Admittedly, re-sizing the images in this way does not give us a perfect illustration of the differences in size. But the longer wheelbases on 2010-specification cars have been noticeable on the three other cars launched already:

There are visual similarities in the front of the cars as well:

2010 Renault R30 and 2009 Renault R29 (click to enlarge)
2010 Renault R30 and 2009 Renault R29 (click to enlarge)

Images scaled so front wing dimensions match.

Aside from detail changes on the front wing and brake ducts – which were developed during the course of 2009 – there are few apparent significant changes.

It’s possible that with the changes in livery making some areas of the car appear much darker than before, we’re simply not able to see some of the differences in the R30.

So much for the car in the studio pictures, what about the car that was presented at the track? That too looks similar to the model seen in the studio shots.

Renault have not said that the car presented was an R29 painted to look like the new car. But it’s hard to spot the extra 25cm in length, the added bulk due to the enlarged fuel tank, and the revised aerodynamics Allison talks about.

We may have to wait until Renault’s car takes to the track tomorrow to find out whether this was indeed the R29, an interim car with late-2009 aerodynamics, or a surprisingly conservative-looking R30. What do you think? Place your bets…

Update: Renault insist on Twitter that it really was an R30 they launched today.

2010 F1 car launches

Image (C) Renault/LAT

124 comments on “2010 Renault R30 and 2009 Renault R29 compared (Pictures)”

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  1. I think we’ve been played! I’d like to see the ‘R30’ compared to R29 from Abu Dhabi, cause here we’re comparing it with the premiere version, and you can see differences in suspension floor or even exhaust placement. We’ll see tomorrow

    1. http://f1.avtomanija.com/fotoz/Novice/2010/januar/3112010214805_D07055475/title_s.jpg this proves it was R30. Keith goit the scale wrong! He made a mistake with the size of the R30. If you look at the front tyres you see they are smaller than on R29 (not only narrower). R30’s tyres drop shadow and Keith alligned the shadow to R29 tyres, so the R30 is smaller…

      1. That image was scaled based on the rear tyres and the shadow was taken into account. If you try it yourself using the original picture from Renault you’ll find the two rear wheels are not well aligned vertically to begin with. That gives you an idea of the margin of error involved in this sort of comparison which, as I explain in the article, is far from perfect.

        If, as you suggest, you re-scale the image based on the front tyres then the rear tyres on the ‘R30’ become larger than those on the R29.

        But the difference is nowhere near enough to account for the claimed 25cm variation in length between the cars. Again, this difference is much more apparent when you compare other 2010 cars with their predecessors (see the links in the article for more examples).

        1. I find it interesting that Renault have not released a studio side view which would allow for better size comparison with the R29. There are enough differences to at least say this car was an R29B but why bother building one?

          If this is the R30 then, as opposed to the other 2010 spec cars we’ve seen, it should be good at Monaco with that short wheelbase!

      2. “If you look at the front tyres you see they are smaller than on R29”

        ^^ Because in 2010 front tyres are smaller!

    2. i can see differences but very small the only big oe is the nose

      1. http://f1.sport.pl/Artykul.82+M5f398f361be.0.html

        This is the link to the polish F1 website (usually reliable and serious source). According to news J. Allison told them that this version of a car will be upgraded. Maybe it’s obvious and sounds just like cosmetic changes but…

        Q: “Will there be some changes before first race?”

        J.A.: “Yes, many of them. And we won’t be the only team to change the car. We’re gonna change the floor, front and rear wing, aerodynamic package and air ducts. Almost everything what you can see here will be changed.”

        Hopefully because it’s the ugliest car since last year when BMW showed an iron board.

        1. Are you mad!!!!?????
          This is the prettiest car for this season so far!!
          And by far.

    3. may eb they have unlocked the niggles they had on the r29, and kept a revised style/shape.
      There was obvious reasons they designed the r29 way they did, and now teams can use ddd the r30 may have the key to vault?

      as to the size, the r29 was a long car in 09 from memory as was rbr so I dont expect to see much of a stretcho looking car as the laughable mclaren.

    4. I think the differences between the R29 and the R30 are quite clear, the whole cockpit has been moved which is a huge difference, as explained here: http://www.vivaf1.com/blog/?p=2342

      You can also see that the body panels don’t match as the R30 doesn’t need a race refuelling setup.

      It IS the R30, but why on earth did they base it so much on the R29 instead of starting from scratch?

  2. It’s a tough call, I’d say we’ve been presented with an interim car. But on close inspection of the comparison shot from above, the cockpit is marginally forward on the “R30” compared to the R29 so who knows? If it is the R30 Renault have done a superb job of repackaging last year’s car with a significantly larger fuel tank. Surely we would be able to spot a 25cm wheelbase difference?

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      31st January 2010, 21:02

      Either that or the R29 from last year was such a poor piece of design that Renault have been able to rework its internal space and find room for the extra 100 kg of fuel in the same wheelbase.
      No. I don’t think so either.

      1. Or perhaps Renault are so confident in their engines’ fuel economy?! lol

  3. It’s worrying to see that Renault seem to think their 2009 car was so good they didn’t need to make any changes… :)

  4. Well… it certainly looks like last years car. The nosecone and front wing look different enough, but then they just bold onto the front of the tub. From the plan view, you can see the leading edge of the sidepods look slightly different, and the black paint at the back of the engine cover prevents any real comparason, but it certainly looks almost too similar to last year’s car, especially in length.

    It’s still keeping me guessing.

  5. It doesn’t look as “bulbous” (if thats the right word!) around the fuel tank area as the R29.

    We’ll see. Nice livery though.

  6. therealjackson
    31st January 2010, 19:32

    looking back, the r29 looks like it was quite long in comparison with its rivals
    could this mean that it didn’t need to be lengthened by as much?

    1. Very good point.

      1. No, no, but they did say they increased the R29 in 25cm. So it’s Renault’s information regarding their two cars. And we would notice the difference, wouldn’t we?

    2. yes I have said this since last year…Renault/rbr both were long wheel base cars in 09 so they wont look muck ‘bigger’ than last year.
      Mclaren look stupidly long to last years car that got short again as the season went on….

  7. That is last years car imo.

  8. at least the front nose looks alot better than last year, that was bloody awful, fat nosed thing, hope it does the business this year but i cant see it, we’ll just have to wait and see, roll on march :)

  9. If this is truly the car they want to use from Bahrain on then they’ve missed something or we have. It looks pretty similar to last year’s. I think they are keeping cards close to chest or are running very late :P
    The R29 shape and livery was so beautiful. I want it back :(

  10. OMG, What are we talking about. Team has confirmed that was R29 with new livery. R30 we will see tomorow. Stop this nonsence

    1. Do you have a link to your source?

      1. Do you have a link to your source?

        I guess not LOL
        another ‘expert’

        Planet F1 is that-> way, Mariusz LOL

    2. I’d well believe it. Just had a look at formula1.com (sorry Keith!) there is a picture of where the nose is joined to the car and thetwo parts that come together are different sizes by about an inch I’d say. But we will see tomorrow.

    3. Yeah, I suspected that. Can you confirm it?

      1. No I can’t, only from what I can see myself. But if you look at the first picture on this page you can see for yourself.

    4. Why go to the trouble of bringing an R29 repainted to the test if you have an R30 in the garage. To take the mic?

      This is the R30 I think, but I’ll probably be eating my words tomorrow. :)

  11. Perhaps the R29 was just that fat and bulbous…..

  12. Well… Firstly Mariusz where did you read the official team’s statement about the new livery on the R29?

    Secondly – I’m confused about the nose – it’s so low-to-the ground in opposite the the other teams where the noses are “sky high” – how it will get the amonut of air it needs to power the diffusor? damn…

  13. from the front shots we can see that the noses are different. also the 2010 doesn’t HAVE to be longer than the 2009 car. maybe renault did a good job at packaging in the bigger fuel tank?
    and yes, suspension is different.

  14. ..lazy

    did they hire the same guy who designs porsches
    looks the same as last years if you ask me.. :\

    1. They did a Lotus by using the same car as last year, trouble is the Lotus was good and won everything while the Renault was a dog :p

  15. I’d be temped to say thats the R30. There are too many changes to the main body work compared to Abu Dhabi spec for it to be just a show car. Maybe they have other aero packages to try during testing? Then again, I could be wrong…

    Still can’t get over that engine cover. Looks like its been designed by a 5 year old.

  16. “Q: You’ve followed the progress of the new car, the R30, closely over the winter. What are your first impressions?

    RK: Obviously the R30 is bigger than the R29 because the refuelling ban means we need a bigger fuel cell, which
    has had an impact on the design of the car.”

    So, i guess this is not r30 on the pics.

  17. I think it’s some kind of interim car. Most of the teams seem to keeping some secrets, Renault may just be being a bit more paranoid than the rest.

  18. From: http://twitter.com/adamcooperf1/status/8455599306

    The new Renault is unveiled in the Valencia pitlane – I’m told fact it’s a show car because the real one is still hiding in the garage.

  19. surely the suspension is different but there is 3rd possibility – it’s the R29 with some minor changes of the new model and the R30 isn’t READY YET – sadly this might be close to the true concluding from what the renault and Robert had been saying about the start of the season…
    double damn now…

    1. The suspension (front and rear) pick-up points and arm angles are noticeably different as are the exhaust exits and the rear floor.

      Renault may have been very clever with the space that the KERS once took up.

      1. Here’s a clue – ignore the bodywork.

  20. i dont get it..?
    why not wait till tomorrow to show the actuall car, rather than fannying around with a dolled up R29..??

    1. exactly! There seems to be too much ‘fannying around’ with this car for it to be just a show car. I mean why bother covering up the rear diffuser as well if its last years? I think Radek has a good theory there.

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