2010 Renault R30 and 2009 Renault R29 compared (Pictures)

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

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

  1. Charles.w said on 31st January 2010, 21:03

    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 ;)


  2. spawinte said on 31st January 2010, 21:16

    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.

  3. im baffled..?

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

  4. spawinte said on 31st January 2010, 21:20

    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?

    • Jezson said on 31st January 2010, 21:34

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

  5. Maciek said on 31st January 2010, 21:38

    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.

  6. the-muffin-man said on 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.

  7. 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..?

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

  9. Piotrek said on 31st January 2010, 22:09

    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

  10. We want turbos said on 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)

  11. Robbert said on 31st January 2010, 22:32

    I’m suspecting a marketing move here. There has never been this much talk about a Renault car. And it certainly overshadowed the Sauber launch, even thou that wasn’t much of a high profile launch.

    I hope it is a R30 with old style nose and rear wing and that Renault was able to make a small agile car, but it seems more likely it is an R29’B’ and they have some surprises for tomorrow.

  12. Fer no.65 said on 31st January 2010, 22:32

    his Mum must be a very eagle-eyed woman…

  13. Icthyes said on 31st January 2010, 22:35

    Remember, part of the reason McLaren cocked up last year is because they ran the 2008 wing on the car for comparative purposes too long, before realising that with the 2009 wing it had no rear grip. So it’s not unprecedented to have interim stuff for the testing season. It could be that Renault have an issue half between this and the McLaren MP4-18 saga, if the rumours about designing a R30B are true.

  14. Sébastien F. said on 31st January 2010, 22:44

    maybe the r30 simply isn’t ready and the decided to go testing anyways…

  15. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 31st January 2010, 23:26

    Renault have said on their Twitter account that it definitely was an R30:


    • It’s the R30. There are too many subtle differences for it to be otherwise.

      In which case, I reckon they’ll be some head scratching aroung one or two design offices about now. LOL

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