FEBRUARY 28, 2016
Renault to get started on 2017 car says Lopez
Renault is likely to start work almost immediately on its car for 2017.
Last week, acknowledging that the 2016 machine is a hastily-compiled version of a car designed by Lotus for a Renault engine, team boss Frederic Vasseur said it would be the wrong approach to simply write off this year.
"Are we going to introduce a more successful car during the season?" he told L'Equipe. "First we will see where we are in Melbourne and then get an idea about what are the clear regulations for 2017."
But engineering chief Alan Permane has told Auto Motor und Sport that the 2016 gearbox, at the very least, will not be re-done.
"We halfway adapted it for the Renault power unit and will try to improve this intermediate solution with a second step," he said.
"But we will not do a new transmission."
Meanwhile, having already worked with Renault power in 2014, Permane gave the changes made by the French marque since then the thumbs up.
"Compared to then (2014) there is no comparison," he said. "The driveability is excellent, and the mood among the engine people is very different.
"They have a plan and are no longer afraid that something will go wrong."
As for Vasseur's intimation that a 'B' car cannot be ruled out, however, that appears wide of the mark.
Still a shareholder in the Enstone team for 2016 is Gerard Lopez and his Genii group, and he suggests that Renault will soon get to work on 2017.
"Unlike many other teams," he said, "we can concentrate fully on the new generation of car for 2017."