Team: Renault F1
Team: Mike Gascoyne (TD), Flavio Briatore (MD, Chassis Department, Enstone), Jean-Jacques His (MD, Engine Department, Viry), Patrick Faure (CEO)
Drivers: Jarno Trulli (14), Jenson Button (15), Fernando Alonso (Test)
After a warm-up year in 2001, Renault officially returned to the sport as a chassis maker by launching its R202 on January 27 in Paris. Gone was the Benetton name and the all blue Mild Seven Benetton colours. Instead, Renault's yellow returned to the sport, with the RenaultF1's CEO Patrick Faure optimistic at the launch of the team's first car.
"Renault F1 enters Grand Prix racing with a clear long-term ambition: to win the Formula One World Championship with a 100% Renault package. Radically innovative technological solutions, allied to a history of unprecedented excellence in Formula One, are the foundations of a daring, exciting new player on the Formula One stage."
"After a difficult year of preparation and development in 2001, in which the team achieved its primary objective of seamless integration between its bases in the UK and France, 2002 will see Renault F1 build upon the momentum generated in the final races of last season. Piloting the R202, our drivers will target a competitive fourth place in the final standings before mounting a sustained championship challenge the following year."
Technical Director Mike Gascoyne underlined that 2001 was the time for the team to put some processes in place and prepare for a surge to the front of the field. Following solid mechanical reliability - excluding the engine - during 2001, the team focused on aerodynamic improvements, some of which already created solid gains at the end of the 2001 season. The R202 was a continuation of that process and saw update come through from the team's wind tunnel programme throughout the season.
But the highpoint of this car certainly was its RS22 engine. A development of the RS21, the Renault still featured a wide 112° cylinder bank angle, featuring a lower centre of gravity than any other F1 engine of the time. Renault were proud to "continue the company's history of innovation", with His already claiming at the car's launch that the team was already working on the 2003 engine as well which was set to be another 112° engine.
The car was good for four 4th position finishes and several other points scoring results, but neither driver made it onto the podium. At the end of the season, Renault totalled 23 points and was 4th in the Constructors' Championship.
Chassis: Moulded carbon fibre and aluminium honeycomb composite monocoque, manufactured by Renault F1 and designed for maximum strength with minimum weight. Engine installed as a fully-stressed member.
Front Suspension: Carbon fibre top and bottom wishbones operate an inboard titanium rocker via a pushrod system. This is connected to a torsion bar and damper units which are mounted at the front of the monocoque.
Rear Suspension: Carbon fibre top and steel lower wishbones operating vertically-mounted torsion bars and horizontally-mounted damper units mounted on the side of the gearbox casing.
Transmission: Six-speed automatic gearbox with one reverse gear.
Fuel system: Kevlar-reinforced rubber fuel cell provided reduced risk of fire and is mounted behind cockpit in chassis monocoque.
Cooling system: Separate oil and water radiators located in the car's sidepods and cooled using airflow from the car's forward motion.
Electrical: Renault F1-developed chassis electronics and software controls items such as gearbox, and the system links to engine management system (Magneti Marelli).
Braking system: Carbon fibre discs and pads (Hitco); calipers by AP Racing.
Cockpit: Removable driver's seat made of anatomically formed carbon composite, with six-point harness seat belt. Steering wheel has gear change and clutch paddles attached.
Front track: 1,450mm
Overall length: 4,600mm
Rear track: 1,400mm
Overall height: 950mm
Wheel base: 3,100mm
Overall weight: 600kg including driver, camera and ballast
Designation: Renault RS22
Type: Naturally aspirated V10, 112°
Valvetrain: 4 pneumatic valves per cylinder
Cylinder block: Aluminium alloy
Power: More than 800bhp
Revs: More than 17500rpm