Robert Kubica, Vitaly Petrov, Renault, Valencia, 2011

Renault R31 launch – first pictures

2011 F1 cars

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Renault have launched their 2011 F1 car.

The R31 was unveiled in the pit lane at Valencia.

Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov revealed the car, accompanied by Romain Grosjean, Bruno Senna, Jan Charouz and Fairuz Fauzy.

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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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275 comments on “Renault R31 launch – first pictures”

  1. Dosent look as extreme as i expected :(

    1. Looks as ugly as I expected.

      1. And the winner of the uglyest car 2011 goes to…

        1. yep, completely agree. Renault have had a string of terrible liveries since they won the championship – last years was the exception to the rule. Now back to this, which is terrible.

          The gold is a horrible colour and the lines are too thick!

          1. Oh, this is what the team lotus effort would have looked like in comparison. Its far superior!


            [stole the link from ajokay I think]

          2. the lotus version of that scheme looks stunning. so much more elegant

          3. Completely agree about the thick line a. I really loike this livery, then after I saw the Team Lotus livery that you linked to, 30 seconds looking at that makes this one look like a marker pen and ruler job.

          4. It looks incredible in person mate. You’re completely and utterly wrong. and I am completely and utterly right. It looks great. end.

          5. Hah! Funny, but honestly the majority of F1 viewers will never see it in person, so who cares. What’s important is how it looks on TV. The basic livery doesn’t bother me, even the overly thick gold lines. What I find unappealing is the red… but I have to say after seeing the whole car and all the team gear, I’m softening to it a bit and think I could grow to like it over time. It’s kind of the colors of Germany,

          1. The Lotus version is 100% better than the Renault version.

        2. Ugly usually equals fast though…

          1. Tell that to the BMW Sauber team, in regards to their 2009 challenger

        3. I don’t think the basic car is too bad actually. I just wish they didn’t needlessly dredge up an old liverly without having a sponsor that fits it. The livery is bad, with the gold too thick, the red looking ridiculous and the lotus badge being over-large, but I think the car underneath looks quite good. I prefer it to the Ferrari.

          1. Completely agree. When you look at the team lotus version, it’s got not glass. Looks more chav than charming.


        4. And the winner of the uglyest car 2011 goes to…

          Renault. But the car itself is absolutely stunning! If you ignore the livery, this is by far the best looking car so far.

      2. spot on. It’s horrid

      3. The car looks ok, but the red wings and mirrors look absolutely ridiculous…

      4. Its ugly only because of the red endplates that don’t match the rest of the livery. If the endplates were white with complimentary lettering then I think it would be pretty bad@$$ looking

    2. Well i have noticed on a youtube video that the R31 has got a different front wing to the rest by having two blades sticking upright rather then sideways which is indeed different.

      1. Sauber have done the same thing, but a less extreme version.

      2. what video is this?

        1. Go to youtube and put this in and stop at 0:12:

          Lotus Renault GP R31 2011 Presentation (Valencia 31.01.11)

          It’s not a very good video but you can just make it out.

          1. tbh it could just be a support and that it just looks like a blade from that angle. needs more pictures of it really.

          2. Actually just go to the offcial f1 website they have a picture of the front wing and it is indeed a blade, and it has got a few more extras which you cant really see on the video.

          3. The BBC website have got a nice angle of the size the blade aswell, sw6569.

            It’s in the article “F1 teams unveil new cars” image 3 of 7.

          4. I’ve taken a look and honestly, i’m not sure what im looking for! Where on the front wing?

    3. Apparently it has no exhaust outlets to be seen at the rear of the car. Some reports suggest that the exhaust gases are directed towards the front of the car and blown over a sort of front diffuser. Maybe this could be the innovative and aggressive design feature Renault kept referring to.

      1. yep i’m hearing this rumour too.

        1. @sw6569:

          The blades im on about are the ones closest to the nose with the small holes in them.

      2. soooo

        who’s going to explain to me how an exhaust driven front diffuser would work? [EDFD definitely won’t catch on. My prediction is X duct. :P]

        Scarbs has apparently confirmed on twitter that there is no exhaust on the renault…

        1. Funny enough there isn’t really one decent close up shot of the front wing, maybe they are trying to hide something?

        2. looks like Renault is playing hide and seek. They have shown us an old car and a render of the livery in November, the old car a couple of weeks ago, now they show the definite livery on a new but not complete car.

          But from what Scarbs writes on that car it is exiting as they might well have done someting new, if they actually make it work.

      3. That’s interesting… but why couldn’t they just take the exhausts out underneath, to pump more air under the diffuser?

        Does the ‘flat floor’ have to be flat without any holes?

    4. Keith (or anyone with the skills) that you can put up split front end comparison against all the cars as they launch… so we can look at half a Ferrari against half a Renault or Virgin and Lotus and so on and so forth? I know it probably takes a lot of time, but it would be cool to view the differences in a split screen format.

  2. Oh, be still my beating heart!

    She’s gorgeous!

    1. So far she is :) Need more angles for a final judgement though

      1. I was nearly sick. Worse car yet by a mile, good job looks don’t matter.

      2. there’s quite a few angles covered here:

        the details of that car do get me exited, the livery not really into a smoke.

    2. Looking nice, but not that revolutionary as I was hyped.
      There are quite meaningful changes mainly on front part, which aren’t so obvious at a first glance.

      1. If the exhaust does turn out to exit in front of the sidepods to feed airflow under the floor, then I would call that revolutionary whether or not it works.

        1. Yeah, it was a hot assessment, now after news about exhaust I would change my mind, totally :)

    3. Gorgeous?!? That car’s livery is fugly

      1. Black and gold on a car with all the right curves in all the right places? It’s a damn sight better than Sauber’s grade-school effort, or Lotus’ inability to make the background of sponsor decals appear the same colour as the rest of the car.

        I think a lot of people are just opposed to it because they don’t like Dany Bahar.

        1. No, they are opposed to it because it’s the worse looking car on the grid.

          1. Nope, Team Lotus is. That giant yellow streak on the rear of their engine cowling goes against the lines of the car. It’s like cutting a piece of wood across the grain.

          2. Team Lotus doesn’t look that bad, infact it has a unique and original colour scheme that actually works. The Lotus Renault on the other hand is has a couple of fat ugly gold lines running in random places on the car, and the Red Total end plates and side view mirrors make me wanna throw up.

          3. goes against the lines of the car.

            He says while praising the Renault.

          4. Haha! This is getting to be fun to read! Fight, fight, fight, fight! My Lotus is awesome and your Lotus is terrible! No, your Renault is terrible and my Lotus is awesome! Can we all just agree that the Sauber is the worst? PM hit the nail on the head, grade school effort.

            @PM, I think you’ll see the final painted Lotus will look better than the early shots where the logos are clearly stickers, and it’s impossible to match a color exactly between a sticker and a paint. As far as the yellow bit at the back I don’t know what you’re on about, I think it’s the best part and a big improvement over last year’s livery.

        2. I’m opposed to Dany Bahar because I don’t like Dany Bahar.

          I’m under whelmed by this because it should have been so much more. And there has been so much stuff about Group Lotus that everyone knew what this was going to look like anyway…

          This is the least exciting thing I’ve seen today.

          1. So you must have seen a little ;)

          2. I’m opposed to Dany Bahar because I don’t like Dany Bahar.

            Quote of the day.

        3. I like the look of it as well PM. The more I look at it the more I do and already liking it more then the 2010 paintjob.

        4. For me the red completely wrecks it.

          1. Totally agree…. :P

        5. It is an ugly car. Simple.

          I actually think the Sauber is quite good when it appears on the track, I do not find it an eyesore at all. This, with the jarring red and white on ‘black’ and gold is just ridiculous in comparison.

          And no, alot of people dont like dany Bahar. Which I think makes then a better judge of many things, who knows, maybe liveries amongst them ;)

        6. PM,

          You’re right – this is aweosme looking. While some people complain about the fat lines, I don’t think the slim lines on Senna’s John Player Lotus would work on the current architecture or design of F1 cars. It may not be catchy and so I think the fat lines are great. The view from the top is most splendid, with the sponsor logos adding to the effect! But I did like the Team Lotus livery too – two represenations of Chapman’s dream?

          I figure the Fernandes-Bahar issue could be clouding the minds of many. Anything Renault or Group Lotus does is horrid, preposterous, ugly, stupid and irritating for them, while anything Team Lotus does is awesome, glorious, beautiful, pioneering and the best thing to happen to Formula 1!

          1. I figure the Fernandes-Bahar issue could be clouding the minds of many.

            Agreed. I really like the Team Lotus livery, and I’m about 90% behind this livery mainly just because I miss last year’s bumblebee livery and I can’t get too excited about the red bits. They’re both a lot better than most of the liveries on the grid though in my opinion.

        7. But is just as much only half finished, in both cases probably on purpose not to show the important bits earlier than neccissary.

    4. Bloody ugly you mean!

    5. The curves are nice, the paint-job looks awful… hideous in fact, the gold stripes are big no-no, it’s far too cluttered. And as for the red bits… :s
      But we’ll see how it looks on TV, unfair to judge when colours and form designed for movement and daylit video are seen statically under a mix of light temperatures

      1. Has any one else noticed the floor? Is that normal, looks like a double diffuser upside Down. And seems to run around the outside of the side pods to the rear wheels

        1. Saw that as well. Looks like they are doing some interesting things with the upper side of the floor and bodywork over it.

    6. +1 zillion

      1. Yeah, it’s really really pretty, I actually love the red, I think it contrasts from the black in a very striking manner.

        An there are so many facinaiting things on that car, doubtless to be copied, outwashes for the rear tyres being one, WHERE ARE THE EXHAUSTS being another. So many details, I have found my first pet favourite of the 2011 season. Lotus gets a meh, the Ferrari is a little bit scary, Merc looks someone’s thrown a platypus at a wall of aluminium.

        But the Renault?

        What. A. Beauty.
        Even the Lotus badge looks good.
        Gets a freakin A.

        1. If you look at the Team Lotus version they would have run, this one get more ugly by the second, kinda looks like they let someones wife loose with a ruler and a gold marker pen :)

        2. If you look at the Team Lotus version they would have run, this one get more ugly by the second, kinda looks like they let someones wife loose with a ruler and a gold marker pen :)

          Seriously, look at this car for at least 30 seconds, then look at the Lotus Renault…. Then think, if they were girls, which one would you rather kiss. Elegance wins every time over bulky lines and red blotches.

          1. Um, iPads are good at double posts?

          2. Uh oh, don’t say that, I’m planning to get an iPad in the next couple of weeks.

          3. Well I did it an I’d still rather kiss my girlfriend, that’s allowed right?

            I prefer the Lotus Renault version because it’s on a real car, I also quite like the Red despite the hate it’s getting. Adds the modern element to the retro livery.

            (Your kinda right, Teams design was good, but you know, I like them in green.)

    7. I don’t understand all the hate either, I think it looks fantastic! You do wonder whether the Team vs Group debate is colouring people’s judgements, it’s somehow unacceptable to think both the Lotus and the Renault look great, as I do!

      1. It’s a matter of taste. To me that livery is badly executed. Very badly executed.

        1. I like marmite, some people hate it ofc, tbh that car is looking like the only car I would lick to see how it tasted…

      2. I really do not care about the bahar vs fernandes issue. The car is just butt ugly, and has absolutely butchered the classic lotus livery

    8. LOVE the shape of the car…the tight rear end packaging, the low and compact nosecone…

      HATE the livery, especially compared with last year’s beatiful black and yellow.

    9. All these cars look like the RB6. I was hoping for some innovation, all I’m seeing is coke bottles – launch time is not that exciting at the moment.

  3. I saw Keith on the live stream!

    1. Nice! The live stream was much too early for me.

  4. *sarcasm*Nice livery, I’m gonna start smoking now. *sarcasm*
    Their diffuser seems bigger than Ferrari’s. Front nose seems lower than other cars as well.

    1. Yup. Low nose worries me as well.

      1. It’s a V-nose, I saw on Autosport.

        1. And it’s actually not that low.

          1. It’s got pull-rod suspension at the rear!

          2. Rear packaging is kinda interesting, instead of the sharp cutaway pionered by RB last year an taken up by Ferrari and Lotus this year, it slopes down to flat very quickly, providing space in a different manner.

            McLaren did something simular when they introduced their EBD but only got it working very late in the season.

      2. Is pullrod the old style that Newey reinvented on the Redbull?

    2. The nose will hopefully be less “fat” looking than in the 2008-10 Renaults, but it’s hard to tell from side profiles.

  5. RobertVettel (@)
    31st January 2011, 11:42

    I was pessimistic about the livery,,,

    But it’s actually quite good now I think..

    1. I’m also warming to it, the extra sponsor logos on this version help it a lot. I just wish Total were not so stubborn and they could remove those red areas.

  6. The back end looks tiny! Does this car have KERS?

    1. I’m biased, cause I will love everything Kubica drives but… it’s badass black beauty

      1. Oh, and KERS – they’ve said earlier that they might not take it for first tests.

      2. A badass indeed!

      3. Kubica doesn’t look particularly happy here.

        1. and he is good in poker ;)

    2. I actually thought that relatively to the other 2011 cars we saw, the nose is rather short and the back seems long.

      The sidepods seem rather narrow but also without a huge undercut, and quite long, and relatively high at the back. The Ferrari and Sauber actually seem a lot narrower between the rear wheels. The RB6 seemed to be about the same as the R31 is without double diffuser, to me.

      Do you have pictures other than these three to base the “tiny”on?

      1. ive got a funny feeling ferrari have got it right though. look how tight the back end is, compared to the others which are quite bulky. That was the trick of the rb6, how they managed to taper the rear end to a near point, and i just think ferrari look to have done it even better. Obviously i can only speculate and it could be a dog, but it just looks right

        1. Having seen more of the R31 pics, I think they have tried to really make it slope gently down all the way to the diffuser at the end of the car. Quite a different concept, and possibly less draggy (don’t know that, no), but you could be right that the RB6/F150 way is better. We’ll see :)

          1. Did you see the pictures and analyses on ScarbsF1?

            Pretty interesting car it seems.

        2. Let’s see how much tighter Newey can make the RB7 at the back without a double diffuser…

  7. This is different to the rendering we saw the other day, as they have removed the partial shark’s fin, which I actually liked.

    Total are still ruining it.

  8. Beutiful, first livery this year I have liked. I hope it is fast as it looks! :D

  9. is it just me or have they messed up the genii

    1. No, the reversed E and N appear in their logo. Faux-Cyrilic is appropriate, no?

      1. Yeah, for a faux-Renault by way of Luxembourg, a faux-Lotus by way of a Malaysian sticker shop, a faux JPS paintjob, and a busload of faux test-drivers; I agree, faux-cyrilic would certainly be quite apposite.

        1. LMAO Feynman :) ….. Yeah they seem to select the worst drivers F1 has ever had recently.

          Missing on the list is just Yuji Ide and Luca Bad-doer … :(

        2. That just an awe-faux thing to say…

        3. Abso-faux-king-lutely.

  10. Is it just me or is Senna being here big news?? Haven’t heard that before!

    Should Petrov get ditched – who would be next in line? Grosjean or Senna? I’ve heard Grosjean is 3rd driver…

    1. Grosjean will replace any driver who is unable to compete.

      1. Including himself? Honk.

      2. But they said, it will be Senna being first in line to step in to replace drivers?

    2. To me it is, Petrov has some real competition for his seat now. Although whats the point of so many reserve drivers?

      1. Uh, Petrov won’t be replaced unless he falls short of the performance clause in his contract. It’s not like the other drivers are constantly bidding for his seat.

        1. Unfortunately, even if Petrov falls short on his performance clause, they will keep him for the money. I’m sure his performance clause states that he should get only 20% of his teammate’s point tally to keep his seat.

      2. Grosjean, Tung, Charouz, Fauzy, Senna. Is that the largest number of reserve drivers an F1 team has had?

        1. try spyker in 2007..they got gazillion test driver.

          1. Looks like they only had 4, and interestingly one of them was Fairuz Fauzy, who was known as Mohamed Fairuz Fauzy at that time:

        2. There part of a young driver programme, they’ll mostly be doing different things over the season. Just looks good to have them in the overalls.

          Senna is confirmed as the actuall third driver.

    3. RobertVettel (@)
      31st January 2011, 11:46

      Wow, I didn’t notice that!

      But they already have two test drivers…
      What will Bruno do?

      1. I will probably cry if I see a shot of the JPS car with Bruno’s helmet though…

    4. I don’t see him…

      1. Okay now I do..!!

        So they’re not looking to the past except for basing their livery on the JPS Lotus and now they hire Senna…

        1. Their only hope being, that the car is not about the same level as the nephew is compared to the uncle in quality.

    5. Yep, that’s Bruno Senna. Totally news to me also

    6. I know, this took me totally (haha) by surprise. But Senna in a JPS livery? It seems so obvious now!

    7. I saw him, and was speechless! No news before this, and until this comment no one mentioned it!

    8. Senna just said in his twitter account that he is first reserve or ‘3rd driver’ at every race and test and have a test program in the old car. Awesome!

      Here is the link:!/BSenna/status/32072198697000960

  11. total sucks:( for ruining the livery

    1. Yeah, they insisted on having a red background. Contractually.

      Mind, they don’t seem to have any trouble finding sponsors this year, that things loaded with them!

      Kubica and the Russian connection are doing a great job :) I’m not not half of it is down to Danny Haha…

  12. This is brave? It’s less of an evolution then the F150! **Cries in corner**

    1. Oh, it’s all the tiny little things. The R31 is much more curvaceous than the other cars that have been launched. The V-channel on the nose starts much further down the car than one any other. The rear of the engine cowling is higher than the airbox. There’s a little flare around the skirt at the bottom near the vertical upright. The bodywork goes much further back than on the other cars, and they opted for a high, tapering rear end for the engine cowling.

      1. Also, there’s a very short wheelbase by comparison.

        1. And the pull-rod suspension system – particularly at the rear – is said to be pretty radical.

          1. Prejudiced people usually stay prejudiced no matter how much arguments you use. Don’t waste energy and wait for the results to do the talking :)

          2. If only you could look at the little things in the Ferrari too..

      2. I agree that it is an interesting car, and very different from other 2011 cars, just as the R30 was very different in concept to the other 2010 cars – this could well be an evolution of that car indeed, but then slimmed down at the back and smoothed and made sleeker.

        Still doesn’t mean I like the livery or Group Lotus dealings with the team.

      3. I’m just interested in seeing clearer pictures of the development in the splitter area. It looks like the keel has some additional aero development in that area to further condition the airflow under and around the sidepods.

  13. Curious to see a lower nose compared to the other revealed 2011 contenders.

    Front splitter looks interesting but can’t make out the details when it’s all in black..

    1. Whoa is that Senna?!

      1. I would like to see Senna behind the wheel. I don’t think he is worse than Petrov!

  14. Nice to see most teams are ditching the shark wing/ Which team/s do you think will run with it?

    1. None, I hope.

      1. I’m surprised about that, Renault used it even without the F-duct last year.

    2. Yee, I’m surprised too.

  15. Simply gorgeous. What a stunner.

    They kept a lot of the brave stuff off the car today, but this is a beautiful base to work with.

    1. Oh of course, that makes sense. Well I hope you’re right, I’m waiting for something truly exciting and I can’t quite see it yet.

  16. From pictures looks like it is most innovative design from the cars that had been launched. Hope is fast enough to be able to fight for wins not only podiums.

    1. Huh? Looks pretty conservative to me.

      1. Look harder, all the cars look conservative now because of the regs. Both the Ferrari and the Renault have a hell of a lot to coo at design wise.

  17. Personally I think it looks pretty terrible with that livery. Leave it in the past!

    1. Amen. Retro is not cool. Its just someone trying too hard.

  18. I will say it has the best looking wheels of any car launched thus far, and by a mile! They make me think of the Tim Burton Batmobile, all the gold on black. And yes, I imagine Total is going to get some negative press for keeping the red on the car, but it will make it easy to spot!

    Evolutionary, but I like it, it looks longer than everything else we’ve seen so far.

    1. Nah, like the Saubers wheels more.

      This car is still making me feel sick. Maybe it will look better when moving.

      1. Agreed on the Sauber wheels…. now if someone could please do something about their livery.

      2. hear hear!

  19. Senna has been announced as a Lotus Renault test driver!!!! Gorgeous car! Now if only Total would change their livery to black or gold :P

    1. Just put him in the car and take a picture. I have to see that! (’85 flashbacks….)

    2. They won’t. Total demanded the red color in sponsorship deal.

      1. its a shame cause when they sponsored peugeot in the BTCC in 1997 they had their logo in White on a Gold background on the rear bumper.

  20. Finally, one team whose nose is not high up in the air.

  21. And though I know it’s all for aerodynamics, I hate the hunch back look, all the cars would look better if the airbox sloped down gracefully to the back end as beauty should mandate!

  22. So let me get this straight, this F1 “team” is sponsored by 3 car companies…

    Renault (which seems to have the prime advertising space) Lotus and Lada. That seems more than a bit absurd.

    Also the fact that Genii have taken to plastering their own logo (when they don’t actually have anything to sell, and therefore no need to build a brand) suggests a lack of sponsorship dollars….

    1. It seems funny to me that all this Lotus controversy was created so that Group Lotus shares advertising space with Lada…
      Still, I want this car to be a front-runner. It is going to be hilarious to have a “Lada” showing the way to a Ferrari or a Mercedes!

      1. Whatever happened to brand clarity.

        People are going to see the pictures of that car and associate it with renault and lada.

        Seems stupid to me.

    2. Anatoly Nechaev
      31st January 2011, 15:07

      Renault and Lada are partners.
      Both names are coexisting nicely at postUSSR space.

      Lada is playing in low-cost niche, while Renault is selling more expensive cars. The only exception is Logan. But still it’s slightly more expensive then Lada’s cars.

  23. Hmm, can’t say I share the enthusiastic response here so far – it’s not ugly, but I can’t say it’s very good looking either…. it’s very busy isn’t it? then again, I suppose we can only rejoice they have so many sponsors; it’s harder to come up with a streamlined livery when you have a dozen or more names to fit in. The chassis itself seems to have some very nice flowing lines to it though.

  24. I got kicked off the web site for the live video stream. Apparently the server was very busy. :-( However, I have to say that car looks hot. (And I’m very happy to see Bruno Senna there!)

  25. Last Year’s was exceptional. This one is not.

  26. They have adopted for pull -rod according to scarbsf1..intresting

  27. I don’t see Fauzy in any of the 2 pics. I do see Ho Pin-Tung. Confused maybe ;-)

    1. From the left: Jan Charouz (Czech), Bruno Senna, Robert Kubica, Vitaly Petrov, Romain Gorsjean, Ho-Ping Tung

      1. Maybe Bahar will sing a little variation on Luca di Montezemolo’s song: no three car teams, but three driver cars :-(

    2. fauzy at abu dhabi for gp2 test.

  28. I’ve just looked at all the cars’ wheels. Seems like Ferrari are the only team to have different front tyres than the back ones. Might help them in pit stops?

  29. And what exactly have Lotus got for their money? Nary a logo in sight – in fact its all still Renault!

    1. There’s a big one right on the nose…

      1. I wouldn’t call that big, and unless you knew it was a Lotus logo you wouldn’t have a darn clue what it was.

        I’d call that RENAULT which runs down the nose big. I’d call the space on the engine cover big – big enough for LOTUS to be written in fact.

  30. Keith, are there any front-side photos? Or did the team made sure none are taken?

  31. Looks like Sauber C29 had many good ideas that other teams just couldn’t ignore. Look at the front wing!!!!

    1. last year spec it seems

  32. Would like to see the pull rod suspension.

  33. It does look “right” to me, just too many sponsors, wich is not that bad too.

  34. Who else is using the Pull Rod suspension this year?

    1. At least the other Lotus Renault and Red Bull. Mercedes might also I think, and Torro Rosso will probably keep it too. I doubt McLaren and thus Force India will – Williams? maybe, and then I suppose HRT will follow. Virgin I have no idea, they might be wise to stay with push rod now they have data on that.

    2. Lotus (last years)
      RBR (probably)….
      ….wouldn’t it be funny if they move away from it, I can’t see it being as much as an advantage as the last two sessions now the diffusers are simpler .

      1. What about Ferrari?

  35. You don;t see this on pictures but there are two more air-intakes, one one the each side of the airbox (looks like the have some sort of f-duct).

    1. Some people think it might be post-F-duct inlets redirected to KERS cooling.

  36. The R31 easily has the best lines of any car so far. Start at the tip of the nose and follow the lines backward – it’s a single, unbroken arc from nose to tail. None of the other cars are nearly as curvy as this.

    1. I agree that the airbox area looks really nice and flowing – those two side inlets (possibly adaptations of the former apparently efficient f-duct inlets) fit in so well that they are hard to spot from the side view.

      The back of the car reminds me of the RB6 but maybe a bit smoother flowing (since it doesn’t need the exhausts to be able to be “secretly” moved down).

    2. yep, really curvy, although I think R31 air intakes are pretty big and boxy shaped.

  37. Is it me, or did they broaden the golden stripes on the sides?

    I do have to admit it looks pretty good, at least better than expected; even the TOTAL-red seems less off-putting now.

    Can’t wait to see it with all the upgrades in Bahrain.

  38. What’s the point of all the test drivers, do they really all think they’re going to get any time in that car???

    1. They do have a three-seater…


    they used your photo and remove photographer name from it. i think it’s a little bit unfair

    1. they credit f1fanatic as their source

  40. I don’t like, no wait I don’t like it at all. I never liked and understood the whole idea of bringing Lotus back into the F1 although I was impressed with the work from the other Lotus. I always loved Renault in the F1 because Renault wasn’t making sportcars but just normal cars.

    I just don’t think that any sponsor on the car is taking benefit from this stupid livery, business move, idea etc. This silly Lotus Lada Renault, come up with something new! John Player did not pay a penny for this free advertisement

  41. How many F1 test drivers does it take to change a light bulb?

    I don’t have an answer to that, but that line-up of four does raise questions. Like in what way will they be able to test, and will any of them get to actually drive?

    1. Renault simply needed someone with more skills to drive their service trucks – new paint job must have cost a lot…

    2. It takes 5 F1 test drivers to change a light bulb. Fauzy was missing from the launch…

  42. Two random observations: I love the expressions on Senna’s and Grosjean’s faces – they seem to like the looks of the car! And: the red endplates don’t look too bad, but Kubica’s little red booties sure are a little funny.

    1. I thought they both were delighted to have a gotten/regained/kept a place in F1, even if not as a racing driver, at least with potential to get to see the wheel of an F1 car. I bet they wouldn’t mind Petrov messing up :-p

  43. The lower nose looks nice. I didn’t expect to see it on any car this year, since noses of all new contenders so far have been raised even higher than last year…

  44. Apart from the stupid attempt to make the endplate sponsor logos line up properly, utterly gorgeous.

  45. too much sponsor cluttering the sidepod inlet. Lotus logo way too big. the livery look bad on TV.

  46. I really don’t like the total logos. Did anyone else think it said Toyota at first?

    1. ToyBota maybe :)

  47. Has any one else noticed the floor, is that normal with all the sculpturing on top that seems to run round the outside of the side pods and up to the back wheels

    Looks like a double diffuser upside down

    1. That really shows how tight the Ferrari back end is.
      Renault second tightest. No jokes please.

      1. The Sauber follows the Ferrari in being tight too – but instead of going very low like Ferrari, they seem to have gone for high and narrow.

        Is the Lotus really a lot shorter – the nose looks much more blunted than the others. Of course it is just above the Sauber with the still considerable overbite, but the other cars do seem to have the front wing noticeably further back from the tip of the nose. May be the angle and it being a rendering instead of a photo.

        The Renault seems not much shorter, but its sidepods do seem to start “earlier”.

  48. “I believe that we have chosen a direction that is really on the brave end of brave.” – James Allison

    Is he talking about the livery? :)

  49. Anyways if she is able to challenge for wins or podiums livery matters nothing.

  50. Um. Did you guys really expect that they’ll show the complete new package during the launch, especially after what they did last year?

  51. Looking at the aerial views on the official F1 website, that front wing looks… Different… Looks quite insane actually

    1. where are those pictures? Oh, launch gallery – yes the front wing looks interesting from that angle – the end plate clearly has become smaller now that it doesn’t contain a flap mover, I think.

      By the way, the nose looks very flat on top, partly thanks to the golden band around it, and the Lotus logo is still being BIG about it.

    2. Ahh.. so that’s one of the radical/aggressive bits they were referring to. Not a surprise given the rate at which they were developing their front wing last season, but wasn’t as visible in the side profile pictures.

  52. I love it its gorgeous.

  53. am I the only one who thinks of NASCAR upon seeing the car drenched in sponsor decals?

  54. is this a passive f-duct output device sitting in the middle of the rear wing? Didnt notice anything similar on the other cars

    1. i think its just the device for the movable rear wing but obviously can’t be 100% sure

  55. I quite like it to be honest. Didn’t like the livery release at the end of last year..not as refined and perhaps the ongoing saga swayed my opinion. The red at least gives it a more ‘contemporary’ feel. Nice to see Bruno is number 1 reserve too.

  56. The Lotus Lotus is much better then the Lotus Renault.

  57. Kind of a random question, but what will DAMS livery in GP2 be?

  58. According to Steve Hopkinson’s blog, there isn’t an exhaust outlet to be seen anywhere. Rumour is that they are at the front and are blown over a type of front diffuser.

    1. Jarred Walmsley
      1st February 2011, 1:29

      Will the exhaust gases not then operate as a sort of reverse thrust thus slowing the car down?

  59. tomforpresident
    31st January 2011, 13:48

    just for the sake of being difficult, apparently thats not fairuz fauzy, its Ho Pin Tung. i know how much people like things to be correct and all that.

  60. Renault for ever
    31st January 2011, 13:49


    1. I cant imagine you’d be easily dissuaded though :)

  61. keith. ho pin tung, not fairuz fauzy

  62. Keith – In this picture you can see Ho-Pin Tung at the far right, not Fairuz Fauzy.

  63. The livery looks much better on this than on the R30, definitely! The red in those pictures also looks better than I believed it would.

    Also I don’t see what the fuss is about regarding it’s apparant ‘ugliness’. The shape, at least, is much sleeker than the obese R28, 29 and 30. But I’ll agree Team Lotus have pulled out all the stops when you compare the two launches.

  64. Christopher Vissing
    31st January 2011, 14:08

    I like! Looks really cool :) Black’n’gold, coolest colour scheme!

  65. That red color kills it completly; it was already out of place on R30, but you could accept it with yellow, this time it’s… worse; it makes those red parts stand out too much – looks like a woman with elephants legs.

    1. I suppose that they could give Total back its sponsorship money, and then the car would look better. Yeah! That’ll work! Why didn’t they think of that before?

  66. “I think Lotus is our sponsor. At least from what I know it is a sponsor, so I could also say it is my dream to drive for Total.”

    Robert Kubica with regards to driving for ‘Lotus’ :)

    1. I like it – wish him well driving his Total Renault.

  67. There are rumours that the Renault has a highly innovative exhaust system.

    Apparently, rather the exiting at the rear of the car, it exits below the car much nearer the front and feeds a front diffuser to provide more downforce…

    1. the front tray just under where the driver sits. to me there seems to be alot more going on compared to other cars i have see so far. i could be wrong though..

  68. Anatoly Nechaev
    31st January 2011, 15:23

    Speaking of “Petrov’s money”.
    I could spot two logos of Russian companies on the car: Lada and Sibur.
    And Flagman vodka at Petrov’s overalls.

    His dad’s “Vyborg shipyard” deal is off.

    1. Anatoly Nechaev
      31st January 2011, 16:02

      Oh. Didn’t spot Flagman on removable safety piece around the cockpit (seen from above). So it’s three russian sponsors then.

  69. I found this video:

    the design of the rear wing looks amazing to me!

    Also it looks it has a finn, not like the car unveiled today?

    1. Isn’t that last year’s car in that video, albeit with the new livery?

  70. :(
    There are no planes of the front wing, but in 3:19 you can see “kers” on the steering wheel and in 3:22 looks like you can see through two halves of the rear wing, altough it may be a optical illusion (illusion, never better used)

    This mock ups are to fool people like me.

  71. Rumor of a Front Exhaust Blown Diffusor are really heating up now as there are no exhausts on the back, so technically they could have led the pipes to the front to blow the “front diffuser” (Teatray portion?)

  72. I’m a bit confused as to why Renault said the design was ‘at the brave end of brave’. To me it looks like the most conservative of all the cars launched so far.

  73. Jraybay-HamiltonMclarenfan
    31st January 2011, 17:14

    This looks amazing, bottom line.

  74. It looks terrible (to some), and therefore will be very slow.

    This isn’t a beauty pageant BTW. No points will be awarded for best livery. And as ever, it’s all in the detail.

  75. Younger Hamilton
    31st January 2011, 18:33

    Wow you guys on here are really really sad and just disrespectful,this is legendary not dissapointing you’re basically judging the car by looks not Performance(which matters in F1 and in any other Motorsport Category)Lets see Pre-season testing if the car looks pretty good,im confident it is and with their recovery last year after Alonso left the team and Crashgate happened,They did a brilliant job with Robert,Vitaly made several mistakes but will do Russia proud this year and learn from his mistakes and become stronger as well as Bruno doing his late uncle proud and his country with himself still being involved in F1.Good luck to Renault this season i really hope for the best for them this season.

    1. Wiser Hamilton
      31st January 2011, 21:45

      christ, didnt you read the small print?- no insults allowed. Freedom of speech mate, if people want to enjoy themselves with a bit of harmless speculation then just let them. I don’t think anyone’s really being sad or disrespectful- some people seem to be more clued up than others maybe- but firing off about people being disrespectful’s a bit pot-kettle-black

  76. Hi everybody.Can one of you tell me how it works the rear wing with that L in the center?Thanks very much sorry for english

  77. 3 words: Front Blown Diffuser.

    Keith, I think you should do a feature on this POSSIBILITY. Not certain if it’s true but if it is, this is true, unexplainable innovation.

    1. More than likely, the lower channels of the front splitter direct and accelerate air toward the barge boards to assist in sealing the floor. The upper vent on the splitter is likely to be a cooling duct for the KERS.

      Judging from the pictures I’ve seen of the rear of the R31, it is possible that the exhaust exits extremely low over the top of the diffuser through fairly thin openings near the gearbox. As a result, it would be reasonable to assume that the gearbox is exposed to open air in effort to add additional cooling. However, I’m not entirely convinced that this isn’t some silly stunt, and that the only thing odd about the exhaust is that it, and the relevant bodywork, isn’t installed–much like the push rods and track rods being noticeably absent from the front suspension of the Lotus T128.

      1. Yeah! … What he said.

  78. Gorgeous livery. Though until it is an exact replica of the true JPS cars, people will call it rubbish.

  79. Well I think it looks pretty good, apart from the red on various parts.

  80. Front-Blown-Diffuser

    Think we’ll be hearing those words a lot more in the future…

  81. the-muffin-man
    31st January 2011, 21:17

    The more I read about this car the more I feel its going to be the dark-horse of the season, and will hopefully allow Kubica to compete for regular wins. There are some very interesting details in the design.

  82. So, hearing a weird rumour right now: the R31 is said to have an exhaust-blown front diffuser. I’m not entirely sure how that works, but it would be pretty revolutionary if true.

    I’m also hearing that the exhaust is concealed under the car somehow.

    1. That’s my favourite rumour so far! Wonder if McLaren can knock up a FBD in record time?

      1. FEBD then.. If your picky :)

  83. Not the color that matters here but the technical solutions. Where is the exhaust?

  84. Where is the exhaust!!!???

  85. Am I the only one that likes this? Yes, I agree the Team Lotus approach looks better, but the Renault version is still good. And I think the red endplates look fine on it. it adds some visual interest points to the solid black.

    Frankly, I’m glad that for the second year in a row, Renault have done something more interesting and that stands out from the rest of the field. Last year there were way too many cars with predictable, boring lines and solid colors. Not to mention either being on one end of the spectrum or the other: garish or dull. Nothing that visually attracts without full-on attacking the eye. This, if you ask me, is a step in the right direction.

    1. Nope, it’s awesome.

  86. Hey if u want a car that looks great,just wait for the HRT.They are making it hollywood style :) :P

  87. This car is so gorgeous! Man, I need a cigarette…

    Cheap joke aside, I find it extremely difficult to believe that the R31’s exhaust is routed half a car length to exit in in the front of the tray to drive some magic front diffuser as is being alluded to by some. Not only would it be a nightmare to insulate, but it can’t be very easy to adjust the engine mapping to compensate for the increased back-pressure of longer, twisty exhaust pipes.

  88. Anatoly Nechaev
    1st February 2011, 11:34

    How about @ScarbsF1 tweet:
    Renault #R31: I can confirm the exhaust exits are at the frotn of the sidepods, with an elbow pointing them back

  89. JPS lives and I love it. A nice interpretation of one of the classic liveries. That’ll be smoking up it’s tyres, ha ha ha ha….ahhhh!

  90. The color combination of Metallic black with dull ‘pink gold’ or ‘copper’ lines is an absolute stunner. I can’t tell if it’s pink gold or copper. I’ve never seen this combination before. I’m amazed. Truly inspiring for me.

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