Renault reveals 2017 F1 launch date

Renault reveals 2017 F1 launch date
By AutoSport

Renault has become the fourth Formula 1 team to reveal the launch date for its 2017 car, saying the wraps will come off on February 21.

The French manufacturer will reveal its latest F1 design the day before Force India's Silverstone launch, two days prior to Mercedes' unveiling at the same venue, and three days before Ferrari plans to run its new car for the first time at Fiorano.

Pre-season testing with 2017's new generation cars starts at Barcelona on February 27.

Renault is hoping to make significant strides forward this year, after finishing a lowly ninth in the 2016 constructors' championship.

Its buyout of the former Lotus squad at Enstone was completed late in 2015, which compromised preparations for the following season, and forced the team to run an adapted version of the '15 Lotus design.

The RS16 lacked downforce, power, was particularly difficult to drive over bumps, and proved to be a marginal Q2 and lower points contender at best.

Improvements were made through the season thanks to slicker track operations and set-up work, but car development was severely limited as Renault switched focus early to the 2017 regulations, and preferred to spend money re-investing in off-track infrastructure and staff.

New buildings are under construction at Enstone, and new recruits are expected to join the ranks through 2017, in preparation for a major push up the grid in '18, when Renault is also hoping to match its major rivals in regards to V6 engine performance.

Renault is understood to be working on a major new technical partnership with oil company BP, and has also recruited Force India's Nico Hulkenberg to partner Jolyon Palmer on the driving strength this season.

2017 FORMULA 1 LAUNCHES SO FAR

Renault February 21

Force India February 22

Mercedes February 23

Ferrari February 24

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