2019 tech verdict: Renault reaches ahead, but falls back

Giorgio Piola

In a season where it promised much, Renault fell well short of the goals it had set itself. Although the engine performed much closer to its rivals than before, the step forward it had expected to take on the chassis and aero side with the arrival of star driver Daniel Ricciardo simply didn’t happen.

Having been a solid fourth in 2018, Renault scored fewer points this term and fell behind McLaren – who beat it with its own engines.

Click on the arrows on the images below to scroll through them…

Renault R.S.19 rear wing

Renault R.S.19 rear wing Giorgio Piola

Giorgio Piola

When it came to the rear wing, Renault continued where it left off in 2018, utilising the area of freedom in the transition zone with which to place strakes. However, the latest interpretation featured sections of bodywork that would also upwash the flow between the two endplate surfaces.

Renault F1 Team R.S. 19 suspension detail

Renault F1 Team R.S. 19 suspension detail Giorgio Piola

Giorgio Piola

The new regulations sought to reign in the complexity that had arisen around the front brake ducts too and whilst there is now a maximum size in place for the ducts, Renault had opted for something pretty large.

Renault R.S.19 front wing sensor vs Alfa Romeo C38 sensor

Renault R.S.19 front wing sensor vs Alfa Romeo C38 sensor Giorgio Piola

Giorgio Piola

The simplification of front wings for 2019 led to many different design choices from the teams. One such area of divergence was the positioning of their infra-red tyre monitoring cameras and the pods they sit within. Teams have for a long time designed these not only to minimise airflow disruption around the camera, opting for a teardrop shape to do so, but also in order to better manage flow into key areas aft of them. In this image we can see how Renault initially opted for a more rearward and winged shaped element on the edge of the endplate, whilst Alfa Romeo for comparison opted for a more forward-placed pod.

Renault F1 Team R.S.19 rear wing DRS pod comparison Canadian GP

Renault F1 Team R.S.19 rear wing DRS pod comparison Canadian GP Giorgio Piola

Giorgio Piola

Renault made changes to the rear wing for the Canadian GP, placing upwash strakes (red arrow) on the outer face of the endplate in order to work the wing harder whilst negating the effect this has on the drag inducing tip vortex formed above it. Meanwhile, the team took cues from other teams on the grid who’d redesigned their DRS pod in order that the wing and actuator worked more effectively and doesn’t overextend.

Renault F1 Team R.S.19 rear wing comparison

Renault F1 Team R.S.19 rear wing comparison Giorgio Piola

Giorgio Piola

Altering the downforce to drag configuration of the wing is critical at certain circuits and so the latest design also incorporated changes to the transition zone, doing away with the last connecting winglet (blue arrow) and introducing more strakes on the outer section of endplate (black arrow). This also led to a change in the shape of the lower section of the endplate (red arrow), in order to adjust how the flow structures interacted with one another.

Renault F1 Team R.S.19 nose

Renault F1 Team R.S.19 nose Giorgio Piola

Giorgio Piola

For the French GP the Anglo-French team decided it was time to jump on the under-nose cape bandwagon, adding the appendage to the trailing edge of their front wing pillars, in a quest to redistribute the cars CoP.

Renault F1 Team R.S.19 bargeboard

Renault F1 Team R.S.19 bargeboard Giorgio Piola

Giorgio Piola

Additionally the team opted to introduce a new bargeboard and deflector array, making use of the revised flow that was available owing to the change of flow structures that the under-nose cape would deliver.

Renault F1 Team R.S.19 rear detail

Renault F1 Team R.S.19 rear detail Giorgio Piola

Giorgio Piola

A glance inside the garage whilst the RS19’s covers are off gives us a great view of the power unit, its installation and all of the ancillary coolers.

Renault F1 Team R.S.19 floor detail

Renault F1 Team R.S.19 floor detail Giorgio Piola

Giorgio Piola

The RS19 with the floor adrift gives us a great view of the splitter and leading edge of the floor, complete with aligning strakes, that we don’t ordinarily get to see when the car is bolted together.

Renault F1 Team R.S.19, rear detail

Renault F1 Team R.S.19, rear detail Giorgio Piola

Giorgio Piola

The Singapore GP puts an onus on downforce and so Renault opted to use a two-tier and slotted T-Wing.

Renault R.S.19 new front wing

Renault R.S.19 new front wing Giorgio Piola

Giorgio Piola

Keen not only to deliver performance in the latter phases of 2019, but also give them a sighter for 2020 the team introduced a revised front wing design in Brazil. This saw changes made to the inboard section of the wing, which would subsequently have an effect on the build, shape and power of the Y250 vortex. The designers had arched the mainplanes inner profile where it met with the neutral section (blue arrow), introduced a slot (yellow highlight) and added a small slot in the first of the upper flaps (red arrow).

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