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’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.

  2. his Mum must be a very eagle-eyed woman…

  3. 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.

  4. Sébastien F.
    31st January 2010, 22:44

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

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


    1. 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

  6. Ask them to fill it with fuel and then we’ll know if it is genius or a scam.

  7. I’m trying to remember but didn’t the R29 have a huge fuel tank already? I remember Alonso running some really heavy fuel loads, so perhaps with the KERS gone the R30 would not have to get that much fatter.

    1. The Renault KERS was apparently quite bulky, and yes they did do some quite long runs in the R29.

  8. If you look at the head-on photos you’ll notice that the ‘wishbones’ on the R30 are further apart on the body and closer together at the wheel than they are on the R29. It’s subtle differences like that which tell you that the tub is not the R29s.

    1. Indeed. The suspension geometry is also significantly different, as are the front wishbones.

      The monocoque is an entirely different shape (different enough to mean it’s a new structure anyway) and the roll hoop is a different shape too – again, small difference but an awful lot of work to change.

  9. KilledByDeath
    1st February 2010, 0:10

    try this image:


    The length is still pretty much the same but you can see the difference in monocoque at least

  10. A Renault engineer on another forum has said it was an R30 with last year’s front and rear wings.

  11. Wait so… that IS the new car!?!?!? Well I wonder how much of an advantage that super-short wheelbase will be.

    1. Perhaps it;’s not actually that short – if this is the R30 with an R29 nose, the R30’s nose might be longer, giving the car a greater overall length.

  12. It’s clearly a different car. The packaging at the rear is vastly altered, it tapers in tighter and opens back out. The suspension especially the front has been changed. The side pods have been swept forward. The floor of the car around the rear wheels is now angular as opposed to curved. The wing mirrors are less pointed and the mount now extend to the outside of the mirror rather than the middle. From the top the outer lines of the side pods towards the rear are now convex where before they were slightly concave. There are new deflectors on the front of the side pods. It has new front break ducts. There are two bumps on the front top and the nose has changed significantly from the old monstrosity. From whatever angle you look at it the front wing is different. It’s a different car.

    1. We want turbos
      1st February 2010, 21:49

      Don’t forget the R29 is the Melbourne spec whereas the ” R30″ I believe to be a abu dhabi spec R29 as Renault made lots of changes to the car, I believe they changed the front suspension to aide airflow to the difuser somewhere round Spain??

      1. Fair point, I checked some of that out after and realised. I still think it’s a different car, maybe more of a development but a lot of stuff is carried over by teams in general even when they say they started with a clean sheet.

  13. Horrible car. Petrov is a good news. But Kubica is better!

  14. I think it’s the same car,but if it is the R30 then will it be the only car so far with shorter wheelbase??

  15. http://roostershamblin.wordpress.com/ would you please spend a few minutes of your time and check out my new blog. I am a farmer who has been raising more than 50 breeds of chickens for forty years.

    1. Do your chickens race F1 cars?

      Do they have carbon fibre wings?

      Have you ever found an egg with a picture Ayrton Senna on it?

    2. I’m not sure how it fits into the discussion – but besides that, cool!

      1. Maybe he has a champion chicken called Schumacher he’s planning on bringing out of retirement!

        Did you actually check out his blog Maciek?

        1. Yes I did, and….?

          1. Somehow your comment seemed quite up beat to me so I was just wondering if you checked it out, nothing implied I was just curious. Did you find out anything interesting about chicken cannibalism? ;)

  16. I’m a bit surprised you say they’re the same car Keith! At first glance they look the same, take a closer look and it is night and day.. well maybe dawn and dusk. the mirrors are different. front wings have major developmental updates. bodywork around the rear suspension. the ram air scoop is thinner. the nose cone is much better looking, not so much like a clown car in my opinion. exhaust exits at a diff. location. front wheels have air deflection device on the inside. thought that wasn’t allowed, but I’m no fia. two bumps for suspension in the front. looking thru/under the nose where it comes to a V is much more sculpted. it’s a beautiful car if you ask me.. best of the year so far! it reminds me of the B&H jordans after the gold livery.

    1. I see that the front deflectors are for the brake cooling, my bad. I see diff. suspension geometry as well and other minute differences close up.

  17. ‘Like Mercedes on Monday, Renault’s new livery is rumoured to have been displayed on a previously used chassis; nonetheless, it’s R30 will be out on-track in the hands of Kubica on Monday morning.’

    according to gpupdate.net

    well…we’ll find out later on during testing if its the car then

  18. so if it’s really the r30 – I`m still wondering about the low position of the nose and pretty simple looking front wing. It’s the first machine this year that looks bit different than others (presented yet) – last year was the Red bull that differed so i’m concluding that the Renault might have a brilliant car or a disaster… we will see…

  19. It’s the R30.

  20. Well I can’t see why they pass off a repainted R29 as an R30 considering they are starting testing today so I will believe Renault when they say it is the R30.

    The R30 looks a lot better from the front if only because of the nose.

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