2010 Renault R30 and 2009 Renault R29 compared (Pictures)

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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)

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)

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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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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

  1. I think we’ve been played! I’d like to see the ‘R30’ compared to R29 from Abu Dhabi, cause here we’re comparing it with the premiere version, and you can see differences in suspension floor or even exhaust placement. We’ll see tomorrow

    1. http://f1.avtomanija.com/fotoz/Novice/2010/januar/3112010214805_D07055475/title_s.jpg this proves it was R30. Keith goit the scale wrong! He made a mistake with the size of the R30. If you look at the front tyres you see they are smaller than on R29 (not only narrower). R30’s tyres drop shadow and Keith alligned the shadow to R29 tyres, so the R30 is smaller…

      1. That image was scaled based on the rear tyres and the shadow was taken into account. If you try it yourself using the original picture from Renault you’ll find the two rear wheels are not well aligned vertically to begin with. That gives you an idea of the margin of error involved in this sort of comparison which, as I explain in the article, is far from perfect.

        If, as you suggest, you re-scale the image based on the front tyres then the rear tyres on the ‘R30’ become larger than those on the R29.

        But the difference is nowhere near enough to account for the claimed 25cm variation in length between the cars. Again, this difference is much more apparent when you compare other 2010 cars with their predecessors (see the links in the article for more examples).

        1. I find it interesting that Renault have not released a studio side view which would allow for better size comparison with the R29. There are enough differences to at least say this car was an R29B but why bother building one?

          If this is the R30 then, as opposed to the other 2010 spec cars we’ve seen, it should be good at Monaco with that short wheelbase!

      2. “If you look at the front tyres you see they are smaller than on R29”

        ^^ Because in 2010 front tyres are smaller!

    2. i can see differences but very small the only big oe is the nose

      1. http://f1.sport.pl/Artykul.82+M5f398f361be.0.html

        This is the link to the polish F1 website (usually reliable and serious source). According to news J. Allison told them that this version of a car will be upgraded. Maybe it’s obvious and sounds just like cosmetic changes but…

        Q: “Will there be some changes before first race?”

        J.A.: “Yes, many of them. And we won’t be the only team to change the car. We’re gonna change the floor, front and rear wing, aerodynamic package and air ducts. Almost everything what you can see here will be changed.”

        Hopefully because it’s the ugliest car since last year when BMW showed an iron board.

        1. Are you mad!!!!?????
          This is the prettiest car for this season so far!!
          And by far.

    3. may eb they have unlocked the niggles they had on the r29, and kept a revised style/shape.
      There was obvious reasons they designed the r29 way they did, and now teams can use ddd the r30 may have the key to vault?

      as to the size, the r29 was a long car in 09 from memory as was rbr so I dont expect to see much of a stretcho looking car as the laughable mclaren.

    4. I think the differences between the R29 and the R30 are quite clear, the whole cockpit has been moved which is a huge difference, as explained here: http://www.vivaf1.com/blog/?p=2342

      You can also see that the body panels don’t match as the R30 doesn’t need a race refuelling setup.

      It IS the R30, but why on earth did they base it so much on the R29 instead of starting from scratch?

  2. It’s a tough call, I’d say we’ve been presented with an interim car. But on close inspection of the comparison shot from above, the cockpit is marginally forward on the “R30” compared to the R29 so who knows? If it is the R30 Renault have done a superb job of repackaging last year’s car with a significantly larger fuel tank. Surely we would be able to spot a 25cm wheelbase difference?

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      31st January 2010, 21:02

      Either that or the R29 from last year was such a poor piece of design that Renault have been able to rework its internal space and find room for the extra 100 kg of fuel in the same wheelbase.
      No. I don’t think so either.

      1. Or perhaps Renault are so confident in their engines’ fuel economy?! lol

  3. It’s worrying to see that Renault seem to think their 2009 car was so good they didn’t need to make any changes… :)

  4. Well… it certainly looks like last years car. The nosecone and front wing look different enough, but then they just bold onto the front of the tub. From the plan view, you can see the leading edge of the sidepods look slightly different, and the black paint at the back of the engine cover prevents any real comparason, but it certainly looks almost too similar to last year’s car, especially in length.

    It’s still keeping me guessing.

  5. It doesn’t look as “bulbous” (if thats the right word!) around the fuel tank area as the R29.

    We’ll see. Nice livery though.

  6. therealjackson
    31st January 2010, 19:32

    looking back, the r29 looks like it was quite long in comparison with its rivals
    could this mean that it didn’t need to be lengthened by as much?

    1. Very good point.

      1. No, no, but they did say they increased the R29 in 25cm. So it’s Renault’s information regarding their two cars. And we would notice the difference, wouldn’t we?

    2. yes I have said this since last year…Renault/rbr both were long wheel base cars in 09 so they wont look muck ‘bigger’ than last year.
      Mclaren look stupidly long to last years car that got short again as the season went on….

  7. That is last years car imo.

  8. at least the front nose looks alot better than last year, that was bloody awful, fat nosed thing, hope it does the business this year but i cant see it, we’ll just have to wait and see, roll on march :)

  9. If this is truly the car they want to use from Bahrain on then they’ve missed something or we have. It looks pretty similar to last year’s. I think they are keeping cards close to chest or are running very late :P
    The R29 shape and livery was so beautiful. I want it back :(

  10. OMG, What are we talking about. Team has confirmed that was R29 with new livery. R30 we will see tomorow. Stop this nonsence

    1. Do you have a link to your source?

      1. Do you have a link to your source?

        I guess not LOL
        another ‘expert’

        Planet F1 is that-> way, Mariusz LOL

    2. I’d well believe it. Just had a look at formula1.com (sorry Keith!) there is a picture of where the nose is joined to the car and thetwo parts that come together are different sizes by about an inch I’d say. But we will see tomorrow.

    3. Yeah, I suspected that. Can you confirm it?

      1. No I can’t, only from what I can see myself. But if you look at the first picture on this page you can see for yourself.

    4. Why go to the trouble of bringing an R29 repainted to the test if you have an R30 in the garage. To take the mic?

      This is the R30 I think, but I’ll probably be eating my words tomorrow. :)

  11. Perhaps the R29 was just that fat and bulbous…..

  12. Well… Firstly Mariusz where did you read the official team’s statement about the new livery on the R29?

    Secondly – I’m confused about the nose – it’s so low-to-the ground in opposite the the other teams where the noses are “sky high” – how it will get the amonut of air it needs to power the diffusor? damn…

  13. from the front shots we can see that the noses are different. also the 2010 doesn’t HAVE to be longer than the 2009 car. maybe renault did a good job at packaging in the bigger fuel tank?
    and yes, suspension is different.

  14. ..lazy

    did they hire the same guy who designs porsches
    looks the same as last years if you ask me.. :\

    1. They did a Lotus by using the same car as last year, trouble is the Lotus was good and won everything while the Renault was a dog :p

  15. I’d be temped to say thats the R30. There are too many changes to the main body work compared to Abu Dhabi spec for it to be just a show car. Maybe they have other aero packages to try during testing? Then again, I could be wrong…

    Still can’t get over that engine cover. Looks like its been designed by a 5 year old.

  16. “Q: Youve followed the progress of the new car, the R30, closely over the winter. What are your first impressions?

    RK: Obviously the R30 is bigger than the R29 because the refuelling ban means we need a bigger fuel cell, which
    has had an impact on the design of the car.”

    So, i guess this is not r30 on the pics.

  17. I think it’s some kind of interim car. Most of the teams seem to keeping some secrets, Renault may just be being a bit more paranoid than the rest.

  18. From: http://twitter.com/adamcooperf1/status/8455599306

    The new Renault is unveiled in the Valencia pitlane – I’m told fact it’s a show car because the real one is still hiding in the garage.

  19. surely the suspension is different but there is 3rd possibility – it’s the R29 with some minor changes of the new model and the R30 isn’t READY YET – sadly this might be close to the true concluding from what the renault and Robert had been saying about the start of the season…
    double damn now…

    1. The suspension (front and rear) pick-up points and arm angles are noticeably different as are the exhaust exits and the rear floor.

      Renault may have been very clever with the space that the KERS once took up.

      1. Here’s a clue – ignore the bodywork.

  20. i dont get it..?
    why not wait till tomorrow to show the actuall car, rather than fannying around with a dolled up R29..??

    1. exactly! There seems to be too much ‘fannying around’ with this car for it to be just a show car. I mean why bother covering up the rear diffuser as well if its last years? I think Radek has a good theory there.

  21. what an ugly car.

  22. I can’t believe they would waste time and money building a different car just to keep their secrets for 24 hours longer…
    The front wing (not the nose cone) could be from R29 but there are a few detail changes like width of engine cover below air box and bodywork above rear suspension.

    If that in fact is R30 I am veeery disappointed because I would expect from a team struggling last year to be more aggresive with new car’s design…

    Please let it be R29… but I’m afraid that is the R30….

    1. “Please let it be R29 but Im afraid that is the R30.”

      They appear to have kept the wheelbase exactly the same as last seasons car. That’s a big 1-0 to Renault as far as I’m concerned.

    2. 102528945% agree.

    3. Renault builds lots of running frankenstein showcars for the “roadshows” I wouldn’t be surprised if it was one of those cars.

  23. Where are the exhausts by the way????….

    1. Whoops, see 3 below. :P

        1. thats exactly the car they launched today! mistery solved.. its the r29

  24. the-muffin-man
    31st January 2010, 20:46

    When you look closely there are a lot of differences…
    Rear suspension position, and completely different suspension arms and angle of arms
    Front suspension position and completely different suspension arms
    Air box intake (narrower and taller on new car)
    Nose and front wing
    Detailing under nose
    Bulges for suspension on top of nose
    Front brake ducts

    To name a few!

    ….if it is an interim car then they’ve gone to a lot of trouble!!!

    1. I still think the changes you have mentioned are minor (except rear suspension configuration) and should not give a huge performance boost…

      Sidepods are wider, sculpted in a slightly different way.

      In this picture: https://www.racefans.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/renault_r30_launch-3.jpg you can see how the exhaust is hidden… Pretty neat

      I don’t know what to think anymore… :P

      1. It’s not what they’ve changed, it’s what they’ve left the same that’s different to the other 2010 cars so far.

  25. Why they covered the diffusor then?

  26. They’re tucked under the rear body work where the yellow stops.

  27. If you look closely from above, the 2010 car’s rear tires are narrower than the 2009 ones, when in reality, they are the same size. This could mean that the lack of size difference is due to a camera angle. On the other hand, the cars could be almost the same and the tires look different due to a camera angle. If it is the R29, I’ll give Renault the benefit of the doubt because they’re obviously under a lot of pressure from… everyone. We’ll see tomorrow

  28. ????? What a mess!

    You’d think Renault could have done a better job of explaining beyond all doubt whether or not this is the new car

    1. If I was Ferrari, McLaren or BMW I too would now be hoping that the car revealed today is indeed the R29 and not something that is considerably better packaged than theirs. LOL

    2. why?

      did merc explain that the launch car was fakie 09 painted up?

  29. Ok this is the first renault car of 2009 compared against the new first version of the 2010 car. I see no point in compareing upgraded 2009 and standard 2010. The best car needs less upgrades. So at the end of 2010 compare the last race 2010 car with the last race 2009 car. If the 2010 car has less upgrades its better :) or thye ran out of money.

  30. Based on the length, this has to be an interim car. Couple days ago Kubica stated to the reputable Polish reporter that the new car is longer then the old one. Form the pictures above this does not appear to be the case.
    My vote is: this is an interim car, in between R29 & R30. Renault wants to be on top this year, and they know that we still have 39 days to go. Why give away certain secrets?

    1. It’s a strange one because the whole design of the rear will have been based around things such as the wheelbase (how else would they measure the car’s balance?)

      Why would the interim car not have the correct wheelbase… I don’t get it. Especially with Kubica’s leg size!

      1. Most likely not the real thing, still my guess. I know that they have been working on new engine and the diffuser. Perhaps they want to test these things first via old build.
        Kubica would not make things up, he stated that new car will be longer. I am sure that that is the case.
        But anyway, I hope Renault is back. I most likely be in Montreal cheering for KUBICA & RENAULT. Tickets are dam expense. Anyone know how to get a discount?

  31. 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 ;)


    1. the-muffin-man is correct about the changes in my opinion. Even on a late spec R29.

  32. 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.

  33. im baffled..?

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

  34. 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?

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

  35. 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.

  36. the-muffin-man
    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.

    1. I’ll back that 50p. :P

  37. 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..?

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

  39. 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

  40. We want turbos
    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)

  41. 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.

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

  43. 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.

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

  45. 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

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

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

  49. try this image:


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

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

  51. 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.

  52. 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.

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

  54. 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??

  55. 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? ;)

  56. 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.

  57. ‘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

  58. 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…

  59. It’s the R30.

  60. Well I cant 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.

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

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

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

  64. the-muffin-man
    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!!



  65. 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.

  66. 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? :)

    1. lol not mine I think it looks different.

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

  68. ReedinValencia
    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!!!

  69. ReedinValencia
    1st February 2010, 20:04

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

  70. 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!

    1. Or maybe they’re testing with R29 the new parts cos R30 still not ready.

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