Renault Sport F1 confirms Magnussen along with 2016 race car

K-Mag Renault F1

Renault became the first Formula 1 team to launch their 2016 challenger at a special media event in Paris.

The French manufacturer is returning to the sport as a works outfit, taking over Lotus and being rebranded as Renault Sport Formula 1.

Renault Group CEO Carlos Ghosn spoke about the goals for the upcoming season and beyond, with regular podium finishes a few years away.

“2016 will be a very specific year because we have to set back all the organisation that used to be,” he explained.

“Renault has been involved in the supply of engine only, not being a team, and now we have to reconcile and set up the new organisation between Enstone in the UK and Viry in France and to make this organisation work more efficiently and having the synergy of both organisations.”

“At the end of the day [we have] to prepare the roadmap that we have in mind which is to be in the podium after three or four years. So 2016 will be a year of transition where we have to prepare our future.”

Renault RS16

As for the look of the RS16, the all-black (with a splash of yellow) seems very basic for the livery. It’s very similar to the colour scheme of Lotus last season but Renault has hinted it may change by the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

In terms of the drivers, Kevin Magnussen is back in Formula 1 in a full-time position. He will join alongside the former GP2 champion Jolyon Palmer, while Esteban Ocon is in the reserve role.

K-Mag was a late replacement for Pastor Maldonado after his sponsor PDVSA tore up the contract it had signed following a dispute with Renault.

ART Grand Prix boss Frederic Vasseur was named as racing director while Cyril Abiteboul is managing director and Bob Bell becomes chief technical officer.

So a fresh line-up of talented drivers, a new rebranded outfit and achievable targets for the next few years. I wish the very best of luck to Team Enstone.

Renault RS16 pitlane

UPDATE: This is the proper 2016-spec Formula 1 car from Renault Sport, the RS16. Team Enstone’s latest model was unveiled to the media on the first official day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The car is closely based on the design the team used last year, when it was Lotus, with alterations at the rear to accommodate a Renault power unit instead of a Mercedes.

This has resulted in “major changes are at the back of the chassis” according to technical director Nick Chester, “particularly how we have laid out the cooling system.”

The improvements in engineering will play a big factor in performance. With a new driver line-up and a manufacturing backing, Renault Sport are looking for a competitive season. Best of luck to Enstone-based outfit.

Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team R16 . 22.02.2016. Formula One Testing, Day One, Barcelona, Spain. Monday. -, EMail: - copy of publication required for printed pictures. Every used picture is fee-liable. © Copyright: Charniaux / XPB Images