Renault is the third team to pull off the covers of its 2019 F1 contender, the R.S.19. During a slightly delayed launch event across its social media platforms, it revealed quite an elaborate car.
The pictures revealed show quite a bit more refinement than the other launched cars, although one always has to be careful with assuming things on launch cars. It's the first car to show the grade of front wing sculpting allowed within the margins of the 2019 regulations:
Note there a couple of caveats. First of all, it doesn't show an infra red camera being used as a cascade, something that will be definitely be exploited. Also the footplate does not have a flat part on the inside of the end plate. Although teams aren't required to use it on the inside, it is an indication that neither Renault is prepared to show everything.
What we can say is that the wing elements are refined. Although extreme profiling of said elements, to push airflow as hard as possible outboard of the wheel, is not possible anymore, Renault clearly tries to emulate some of the effect. Also note the wing does not use the full allowed height, a clear indication there is more than enough downforce to grab at the front, but can't be balanced with sufficient rear downforce. This is something we saw with the HAAS car as well.
Renault also choose to follow a more traditional path with the Y250 sculpting. Last year it trialed some radical design with the inboard element tips, but has seemingly refrained from it. As expected, the end plate utilizes the full 15° curve angle, with the same profile you'll see pretty much on every car.
The car also shows very large, simplified brake ducts. Regulations on the brake ducts clamped down on usage of them as aerodynamic appendages. Front suspension looks to be taken over from last year's car, as well as the nose cone.
Things get a bit more interesting again in the sidepod/bargeboard area. Some bargeboard pieces look like a copy from last year, but with pieces cut off to make them conform the 2019 regulations. However, Renault seems to have adapted the trend of moving the sidepod entry back and exposing the side crash structures, allowing more bodywork area for aerodynamic pieces. It follows Red Bull's example here, with wing profiles in front of the sidepod's lower and higher edges. Speaking of said sidepods, its inlets are now vastly different, with another obvious inspiration from Red Bull.
Further back Renault improved packaging to get a tighter coke bottle shape, freeing up space above the floor. Rear suspension is again a carry over from last year, while the rear wing now features a dual pylon set up, with a small monkey seat inbetween above the exhaust pipe. This will allow the exhaust gasses to do more aerodynamic work.
The renders show a rather flat, continuous floor. Still, more refinement is definitely expected once the car hits the track in Melbourne or possibly already during testing.
All in all, it's refreshing to see a more refined version of the car launched in comparison to the previous 2. We should not be led to believe Renault has given away anything major, but there are some interesting details and a show of ambition to move up the order in 2019.