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. what an ugly car.

  2. I can’t believe they would waste time and money building a different car just to keep their secrets for 24 hours longer…
    The front wing (not the nose cone) could be from R29 but there are a few detail changes like width of engine cover below air box and bodywork above rear suspension.

    If that in fact is R30 I am veeery disappointed because I would expect from a team struggling last year to be more aggresive with new car’s design…

    Please let it be R29… but I’m afraid that is the R30….

    1. “Please let it be R29… but I’m afraid that is the R30….”

      They appear to have kept the wheelbase exactly the same as last seasons car. That’s a big 1-0 to Renault as far as I’m concerned.

    2. 102528945% agree.

    3. Sιbastien F.
      31st January 2010, 20:53

      Renault builds lots of running frankenstein showcars for the “roadshows” I wouldn’t be surprised if it was one of those cars.

  3. Where are the exhausts by the way????….

    1. Whoops, see 3 below. :P

        1. jose arellano
          1st February 2010, 1:06

          thats exactly the car they launched today! mistery solved.. its the r29

  4. the-muffin-man
    31st January 2010, 20:46

    When you look closely there are a lot of differences…
    • Sidepods
    • Rear suspension position, and completely different suspension arms and angle of arms
    • Front suspension position and completely different suspension arms
    • Air box intake (narrower and taller on new car)
    • Nose and front wing
    • Detailing under nose
    • Bulges for suspension on top of nose
    • Front brake ducts
    • Mirrors
    • Floor

    To name a few!

    ….if it is an interim car then they’ve gone to a lot of trouble!!!

    1. I still think the changes you have mentioned are minor (except rear suspension configuration) and should not give a huge performance boost…

      Sidepods are wider, sculpted in a slightly different way.

      In this picture: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/renault_r30_launch-3.jpg you can see how the exhaust is hidden… Pretty neat

      I don’t know what to think anymore… :P

      1. It’s not what they’ve changed, it’s what they’ve left the same that’s different to the other 2010 cars so far.

  5. Why they covered the diffusor then?

  6. They’re tucked under the rear body work where the yellow stops.

  7. If you look closely from above, the 2010 car’s rear tires are narrower than the 2009 ones, when in reality, they are the same size. This could mean that the lack of size difference is due to a camera angle. On the other hand, the cars could be almost the same and the tires look different due to a camera angle. If it is the R29, I’ll give Renault the benefit of the doubt because they’re obviously under a lot of pressure from… everyone. We’ll see tomorrow

  8. ????? What a mess!

    You’d think Renault could have done a better job of explaining beyond all doubt whether or not this is the new car

    1. If I was Ferrari, McLaren or BMW I too would now be hoping that the car revealed today is indeed the R29 and not something that is considerably better packaged than theirs. LOL

    2. why?

      did merc explain that the launch car was fakie 09 painted up?

  9. Ok this is the first renault car of 2009 compared against the new first version of the 2010 car. I see no point in compareing upgraded 2009 and standard 2010. The best car needs less upgrades. So at the end of 2010 compare the last race 2010 car with the last race 2009 car. If the 2010 car has less upgrades its better :) or thye ran out of money.

  10. Based on the length, this has to be an interim car. Couple days ago Kubica stated to the reputable Polish reporter that the new car is longer then the old one. Form the pictures above this does not appear to be the case.
    My vote is: this is an interim car, in between R29 & R30. Renault wants to be on top this year, and they know that we still have 39 days to go. Why give away certain secrets?

    1. It’s a strange one because the whole design of the rear will have been based around things such as the wheelbase (how else would they measure the car’s balance?)

      Why would the interim car not have the correct wheelbase… I don’t get it. Especially with Kubica’s leg size!

      1. Most likely not the real thing, still my guess. I know that they have been working on new engine and the diffuser. Perhaps they want to test these things first via old build.
        Kubica would not make things up, he stated that new car will be longer. I am sure that that is the case.
        But anyway, I hope Renault is back. I most likely be in Montreal cheering for KUBICA & RENAULT. Tickets are dam expense. Anyone know how to get a discount?

  11. the-muffin-man > Look at the late evolutions made on the R29…and you’ll see what everyone is talking about…it’s just a R29, with brand new paint ;)


    1. the-muffin-man is correct about the changes in my opinion. Even on a late spec R29.

  12. The R29 photo you’re all using for comparison is from before the 2009 season even started, you should be using an Abu Dhabi spec picture.

  13. im baffled..?

    but saying that i thought the F10 hadnt changed a whole lot from last year.. :\

  14. Do people honestly think they could make the car the exact same size with the fuel tank needing to be as big as it does? Even taking into the account the superior efficiency of the Renault engine?

    1. Well judging from the spy shots, the Williams FW32 doesn’t seem to be the longest car in the world…

  15. A link I put up in the other thread. It’s a French journalist’s blog. He basically says that today’s car was a “mock-up” based on last year’s design, and that what we’ll see in Bahrein will be “different”. Also reports that Renault are already aiming to have a R30B for Canada. Bad news, methinks.

  16. the-muffin-man
    31st January 2010, 21:46

    50p says the car launched today will be pretty much the car Kubica will drive tomorrow.


    I just can’t see the logic of creating a ‘fake’ car and then carting it across Europe if the ‘real’ one will be revealed less than a day later. Especially for a cash strapped team.

    1. I’ll back that 50p. :P

  17. maaaaybe..

    theres one or two new upgrades on this ‘interim’ car that they hope to put on the R30 when they actually finish it..? and this is more of a test car for parts..?

    if any of that make sense..?

  18. nice livery but…where is the new car??

  19. F1.FR says it is the r29 with new livery, with some minor changes and it is for commercial reasons….the real r30 will be shown tommorrow due to espionage reasons…if you want proof look at the wheelbase, it is the same from last years

  20. We want turbos
    31st January 2010, 22:13

    Definatly the final spec R29 not long enough or wide enough for a 2010 fuel tank. Hope they’ve done a better job of the R30. Bloody total ruined the best livery since the 99 jordan and mindardi(yellow telifonica 1)

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