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)

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  1. Eastman said on 1st February 2010, 10:13

    Wow that new livery is outstanding! I really like it.

  2. speed0462 said on 1st February 2010, 10:14

    guys go to autosport.com and u wil see the new renault
    pic the front and rear wings are different than car shown yesterday

  3. Reminds me of the old Jordan cars
    all thats missing is “Bitten and Hisses” from the rear wing :-)

  4. the-muffin-man said on 1st February 2010, 11:19

    Well apart from the front and rear wings (which are nearly always different at launch), this looks like the car they launched yesterday.

    …I therefore claim my 50p!!

    :)

    http://f1.gpupdate.net/en/photolarge.php?photoID=144368&catID=4597

  5. I still don’t know how they kept the wheelbase so short — even allowing for perspective and camera issues in Keith’s comparison, the wheelbase looks essentially identical. I wondered at first if the car in the handout shots was a 2009 tub with 2010 bodywork and suspension, mocked up for the photoshoot (Renault not realising that a bunch of internet obsessives would be A-B’ing the two cars and looking for the extra foot of length).

    I guess we’ll know when a few good full-length side shots of Kubica’s car are taken today — but my guess is that the handout shots were a mocked-up 2009 tub, and that the real thing is longer.

  6. Jezson said on 1st February 2010, 14:57

    sooo, out testing today and they were hiding completely different front and rear wings, but the basic car IS the R30.

    In your FACE anyone? :)

  7. What an intriguing situation. Either there some sculdugery going on or Renault may just be a dark horse on the grid this year…

  8. ReedinValencia said on 1st February 2010, 19:13

    It was worrying when this was the first car that I saw leaving the pits, hopfully the looks of it will grow on all of us in the season…all in all it doesn’t really matter if it was the R29 or R30 it was still really slooow!!!

  9. ReedinValencia said on 1st February 2010, 20:04

    It looks cool in the edited pics but its not so nice out on track.

  10. fudge said on 2nd February 2010, 0:37

    Personally I think it’s the R30 tub – and for some strange reason the front and back of the END of last season’s R29. whether they want to test this out and then compare it with some new ones in the pipeline i’m not sure, but just WHY?? i assume it’ll all become clear quite soon that there’s an obvious explanation!

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