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,

        2. Team Lotus?

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

        3. Ugly usually equals fast though…

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

        4. 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.


        5. 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 k