Pictures: Alonso drives his 2005 title-winning Renault at Yas Marina

2020 F1 season

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Fernando Alonso demonstrated his world championship-winning Renault R25 between the first two practice sessions for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The 39-year-old won his first of two world championships in the car 15 years ago. He has signed a two-year deal to return to Renault next season, when the team will be rebranded as Alpine.

The R25 raced in 2005, the final year of F1’s naturally aspirated V10 engine regulations. The development of the car was overseen by technical director Bob Bell.

Alonso clinched the drivers’ title at the Brazilian Grand Prix, with two races to spare, and ended the year 21 points ahead of his closest rival McLaren’s Kimi Raikkonen (a win was worth 10 points at the time).

The car won the season-opening race at Melbourne in the hands of Alonso’s team mate Giancarlo Fisichella. However Alonso delivered the rest of the team’s eight wins that year, the last of which secured the constructors championship for them in the season-closing Chinese Grand Prix. It was the first championship success for the team which originally entered F1 in 1977.

While the car originally ran on grooved Michelin tyres, slick Pirelli rubber was fitted for this demonstration run.

Alonso will drive the latest Renault Formula 1 car, the RS20, in Tuesday’s post-season test at the track.

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Pictures: Alonso drives Renault R25 in Abu Dhabi

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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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47 comments on “Pictures: Alonso drives his 2005 title-winning Renault at Yas Marina”

  1. Look how short it is!! And looks better than latest machinnery.

    1. This is the right size for the F1.
      Today cars are way too long.

      F1 needs cars small and nimble

    2. @jureo considering that the Renault R25 is in the order of 5m in length, it really isn’t that short – it’s a case of the relative proportions of the car somewhat disguising just quite how long the car actually is.

      1. Well, the R25 is 4.80m by 1.8. and weighs 610 kg. The RS20 is 5.40m by 2.00m and weighs 745 kg
        The modern car is 25% bigger by surface and 22% bigger by weight.
        It’s quite significant.

      2. Today’s car are around a meter longer. The R25 was 4,8 meter, the current Ferrari is 5,7 meters long. So there is a big difference.

        1. Tim Lemmens, whilst Renault claimed that the R25 was 4.8 metres in length – which is still not exactly small – it is worth noting that Renault seemed to use the figure of 4.8m as a default description in that period.

          After all, does it not seem slightly too coincidental that Renault also claimed that the R26, R27, R28 and R29 were also all exactly 4,800mm in length as well? Does it not also seem rather suspect that Renault also claimed that the R202, R23, R24, R25, R26, R27, R28, R29, R30 and RS16 also apparently all had absolutely identical wheelbases (3,100mm) and exactly the same track width (1,400mm rear and 1,450mm front)?

          Now, maybe you could argue that the track width was fixed by the limit on total width of the car, but does it not seem just a little peculiar that, during a period where there were multiple major regulatory changes, the dimensions of Renault’s cars were supposed to have been so static?

          Consider that, at the same time, Ferrari, who were releasing figures for their cars in the 2000s, did confirm that they were varying some of those dimensions – the wheel track changed a few times, as did the total length and wheelbase of their cars as well. Does it not seem slightly peculiar that Renault would not have even slightly altered some of those dimensions over a period of more than a decade?

          It is rather more likely that “4.8 metres” was a generic answer that Renault gave as being roughly in the right ballpark for all of their cars at that time, much like some of the other dimensions that the team also stated at the time.

  2. That car is 15 years old and frankly, halo aside, LOOKS no less advanced than a current F1 car….and they say F1 is boring. Lets hope 2022 brings cars that look like they belong in the future not the past. Yawn

    1. Strongly disagree. Making the cars look futuristic for the sake of looking futuristic is silly. In F1 form follows function. Watch Formula E if you are into these kinds of shannanigans…

    2. Also disagree.
      Look at the difference in from wings, the bodywork rear of the engine (compared to now where most of the floor is exposed), the total lack of bargeboards and really simple suspension and steering set up

      These cars are streets behind, both in terms of technology, as well as design and function


      1. Just to be fair: It’s not the most advanced version of the wing they used back in 2005.

      2. You do realize that Alonso set times very respectable, I believe within 3 seconds, of the current F1 cars right? And its not race or qualifying setup (okay, I’m sure its fueled lightly) but its still practically a museum piece.

        Being more complex doesn’t make something better or more advanced. Yes, it is 15 years of evolution but there’s also restrictions and so the designers work within those confines and exploit what they can.

    3. TBH it looks pretty ancient

  3. Better times … better looking cars, more competitive fields, and no races in Abu Dhabi.

    1. @red-andy

      more competitive fields

      The performance gap between teams tended to be larger then compared to now. The only reason things appear more competitive through rose tinted glasses is because there was less reliability which gave the mid-field teams more opportunities to grab a higher position.

      And let’s not forget that fans then were complaining about many of the same things they complain about now when it comes to the racing/competitiveness which is why over the next few years the FIA made several regulation changes to create more overtaking, closer racing & give them mid-field/back of grid teams a better opportunity to compete.

      F1 is now what F1 has pretty much always been. You have 2-3 teams at the front won win regularly/fight for the championship with a decent gap to the cars behind then a competitive mid-field & often another decent gap to the 1-2 slowest teams at the back. And fans will always look through rose tinted glasses & insist the decade before was better even though on reflection it was no different to the present in most ways, It’s a cycle i’ve seen over & over since I started watching in the early 70s.

      1. @roger-ayles 2005 in particular was a season where it was dominated by just two teams – Renault and McLaren – who, if not for the mess that was the 2005 US GP, would almost certainly have won every single race that season between them – and one of the low points for competition in that era.

        As you note, it really doesn’t take a lot of effort to find that there were a huge number of fans making exactly the same complaints back in 2005 about the sport being dominated by a handful of teams and about the lack of competition up and down the field. There are a handful of fans on this very site who have been here long enough that they should remember that they were making those complaints back then…

        1. For sure clean air dependence has been an issue for pretty much 3 decades now. Back in 97 when JV won the WDC and they were about to bring in grooved tires, he called that a joke and got hauled up on the FIA’s carpet in Paris to answer for his remarks that they saw as disparaging to F1. His opinion at the time was that rather than grooved tires, they should have been given back the big fat slicks that F1 used in the 70’s. He said those would kill two birds with one stone. The big slicks would create so much drag on the straights that teams would be forced to run less wing. So with that one move, they could have had more mechanical grip from the big tires, and been running less wing ie. been less dependent on aero and on clean air at the same time. It could have been a better ratio of mechanical to aero grip and would have allowed for closer racing and less processions. But of course as we know the addiction to aero downforce has been unstoppable for decades and is only finally being changed because of the new regime post-BE.

          1. @robbie I wouldn’t really agree with Jacques’s opinion there, as I feel that some of his assumptions are overly simplistic and crude, not to mention not necessarily being consistent with what we have seen happen on track.

            After all, there were several instances during the 1990s where regulation changes resulted in substantial downforce cuts relative to earlier years, but it had no measurable impact on overtaking or making it noticeably easier for drivers to follow each other.

            Thanks to Gascoyne and Agathangelou, both former aerodynamicists at Tyrrell, we know that, at least in their case, from 1989 to 1997, they saw the total downforce levels peak in 1992, then total downforce levels went progressively down from 1992 through to 1995 (we’re talking a cut of more than 25% between 1992 and 1995, with 1995 having cars that were producing about 7% less downforce than they were in 1989). Although total downforce levels did then begin to increase, by 1997 the cars had only recovered to producing about the same amount of downforce as they were in about 1990.

            However, when you’re looking at the overtaking statistics at the time, there’s no indication that the period that saw downforce figures being radically cut. In the period where we had that big cut in downforce from 1992 to 1995 – which, given tyres were also largely similar in dimensions, should have resulted in what you wanted (“a higher mechanical grip to aerodynamic grip ratio”), overtaking persistently fell – even though a 1995 car might be producing less downforce than one from 1989, the amount of overtaking in 1995 was a third of what it was in 1989. There doesn’t seem to be much anecdotal evidence from that period either of drivers commenting that the major cuts in downforce made it easier to follow another car either.

            Furthermore, it’s notable that Jacques was only talking about the drag aspect – but what he left out there was that increasing the size of the tyres would also substantially increase the turbulent wake of the cars, since the wheels are by far the largest source of turbulence.

            In that sense, you have the paradox that Jacques’s proposal would also result in an increased turbulent wake behind the car – so, whilst it might appear beneficial in one respect, in the other it would also exacerbate some of the problems that it was meant to solve (as although the car might produce less downforce in total, the increased turbulent wake might mean that the relative percentage loss might not drop all that much – and it is the relative drop that seems to be far more significant than the absolute figures).

  4. Driving in the Young Drivers test as a veteran is one thing. But bringing your own WDC winning car along to show off is pretty next level brash, isn’t it?

    Also, i really dislike this putting any old car on pirelli slicks business as is, but peeling off the Michelin Stickers from the suspension? really?

    1. Bah hum bug!!

    2. Just realized they also removed the elf logos. Looks weirdly blank.

      1. But not from his race suit however????

    3. Stephen Higgins
      11th December 2020, 16:08

      You can still see Michelin logos on the undertray and on the rear wing endplates.

  5. That race suit….
    Obviously the Mild Seven logos have been replaced with Team Spirit (which they used in non tobacco markets I think?)

    But, I wonder if they are originals, or modern reproductions?
    I would have thought current FIA regs would have required contemporary standards, but they just look too good to be repros….
    Its strange also that the Michelen logo has moved from below the Hanjin o the front and now sits on the lapels – despite the car now running Pirelli’s!!


    1. It was a demo run anyways, not a ‘race’ or test run I guess @unklegsif so perhaps those rules don’t count then? Interesting question though.

    2. Pretty sure it is original. Has this very prominent stitching pattern the overalls used to have. General more ‘bulky’ appereance. Also, the remade ones usually have the modern manufacturer logo (i’m guessing) on the shoulders. Also explains the old stitched on logos couldn’t easily be removed.

    3. Really cool not only that the car livery looks mostly correct (rather than old car new paint job like some teams do), but that he wore the matching overalls. He really could have worn anything, but this makes it even more aesthetically pleasing.

  6. Would be interesting to compare the times…

  7. better proportioned car, but with that front wing I can’t exactly call it a looker….

    1. baasbas I also find I react oddly to the lack of super complicated barge bord filigree but then lots of flipflics and the gills at the back by now have to admit (though it remains sort of cool shark-like objectively).

      Looking closer the cars of today look a lot more refined in lots of aspects, would be interesting to know how a car to those rules would look if it was made with the knowledge and techniques available today!

    2. You mean you prefer 2m wide snow ploughs?

      1. It is not exactly that there are 2 basic car designs in the history of F1 and if one is not too fond of 1 that they automatically must like the other one?

        In my opinion all modern cars with the baking tray philosophy can’t be considered pretty either. No matter front wing width.

  8. Impressive that this car “clocked” 1:45 in this demo run with alonso holding back in some moments …… that’s only 10s behind the pole from last year …

    Imagine that with proper setup and tyres these cars can still put a time close to the current ones despite the 15 years old age …. i would say maybe 3 ou 4s down …. just a guess

  9. Jose Lopes da Silva
    11th December 2020, 15:01

    Raikkonen should be showing the 2007 Ferrari too.

    1. And Hamilton the 2008 McLaren before he retires.

  10. Proper race car that. I would love to see the video – is it available anywhere?

    1. Yes! Looks amazing on track.

    2. F1 Instagram just uploaded and man, that sound is just amazing!

    3. haha, seeing them block their ears as he passes is a treat

  11. Alonso is going to leave another Schumacher behind him.

  12. masterpiece car with a legendary driver what else can we asked?

  13. The old guy pushed it, ey? He was flicking in on turn in like in the old days. What a beast of a driver. And those cars were a lot more demanding physically.

    Like him or not, he’s one hell of a racing driver.

    I saw that Renault (and all his other cars) in his museum this summer. Those R25 and 26 really stood out. But the most amazing looking one was the MP4/22.

  14. The local driver giving himself a honorific run, like a retiree.
    Good luck like an ex driver.
    Oh wait, he’s returning…
    Old glories, only in Arabia…

  15. It was nice to see an old F1 car pushed a bit

    As others have mentioned that wheel base really is short.. I can only imagine how tricky those cars were with those monstrous V10s

  16. That was awesome to watch. Looks so nimble and grippy on the slicks. I wondervwhat lap time he could pull if everything was turned up. Imagine a race like suzuka 2005 again but on slicks. And that incredible sound, how i misd those glorious v10s. Robert Kubica recently said that R25 was the best car he had ever driven, and i count 10 f1 cars he had driven from 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 12, 14 and 18 at the time from renault, sauber and williams.

  17. Extremely Gorgeous Machine.
    Magnificent striking colors with bold livery.
    And a Five Times World Driving Champion in Alonso or should have been 5 time champion. He was there… But two ain’t bad. look it takes big balls to come back knowing the team in power when you last raced is still champion and even stronger.
    But Alonso’s like that as I witness put him in a fair car and you will have trouble all day. He’s just fallen onto the others pile. He’s certainly capable but what about is it Alpine or Aston or Minardi or Ferrari he’s still facing the most successful team car driver combo EVER. I don’t think he’s got a chance in hell to win again. Still the wrong team at the wrong time. 2022 may shake it up a bit but there’s nothing to show us that only luck, bad luck or good luck will bring ANY change.

  18. Nothing looked better than this.

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