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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