Some people are fans of Renault. But many more people are NOT fans of Renault. This 2019 Oppositelock team preview is for those in the latter group. This is also a poor knockoff of Drew Magary’s infamous and inflammatory yearly NFL previews. Read all the previews so far here.
Your Team: Renault F1 Team
Your 2018 results: 122 points and 4th in the championship, aka the best of the rest. That was this team’s best result since 2013 when the team went by Lotus F1 Team. This was all in what was effectively a “rebuilding season” for the team.
Your Car: R.S.19
Black and yellow, fucking Yinzers.
Your Team Principal: Cyril Abiteboul was with Renault from 2001, in 2012 he went to Caterham F1 and came back in 2014. He’s been the team principal since 2017 and between his constant fight with Red Bull over engines he has seen this team rise from 9th place in 2016.
Your Drivers: Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo
Nico Hulkenberg returns as the unluckiest driver in F1 history. He won Le Mans on his first and only try in the Porsche 919, yet hasn’t ever stepped foot on an F1 podium in 158 races. Yes, he owns the record. If he looks good in qualifying or at the start of the race, he will quickly be eliminated by another driver or mechanical error:
Daniel Ricciardo has finally escaped the clutches of Red Bull and decided to stick with the makers of his misfortune over the past years. Danny Ric is one of the better passers in the field and has 7 wins to his name. He’s also Australian, meaning he has a propensity to drink champagne out of his shoe for podium appearances.
What’s new that sucks: Now that Renault only supplies 2 teams, there is far less racing data to be collected and to analyze. There’s also a huge spat between Renault and Nissan over former boss man Carlos Ghosn going on right now which hopefully doesn’t end with funding for F1 being the first head on the chopping block.
What’s always sucked: This team is not the team that Renault started. The team that Renault started closed its doors in 1985. This team’s history is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more complicated, here’s a brief timeline:
- 1981 Toleman F1 enters Formula One, qualifies in 2 races, finishing 1 of those in 10th, scores no points
- 1984 Toleman has best year finishing 7th in the constructors’ championship thanks to a young fellow named Ayrton Senna
- 1986 Toleman is bought and renamed to Benetton Formula, becoming much more successful
- 1992 Benetton relocates factory from Witney, UK to Enstone, UK
- 1995 Benetton wins Championship thanks to Michael Schumacher
- 2000 team purchased by Renault
- 2002 team renamed to Renault F1
- 2005 and 2006 team wins back to back championships with Fernando Alonso
- 2012 team renamed Lotus F1 Team, no relation to Team Lotus as founded by Colin Chapman or Team Lotus/Lotus Racing which became Caterham F1 (also no relation to Team Lotus as founded by Colin Chapman)
- December 2015 team repurchased by Renault and renamed Renault
We good now?
What might not suck: The rebuilding years are over and the factory Renault team needs to show up and win or at the very least, beat Red Bull.
Next up: Red Bull