Renault RE301981 - 1981
Category: Formula One
The Renault RE30 was a Formula One car designed by Michel Tétu and Gérard Larrousse for use by the Renault team in the 1981 Formula One season. It was an entirely different design from its predecessor, the RE20. It incorporated carbon fibre into parts of its construction, a material which was becoming more and more commonplace in F1 at the time. The turbocharged engine was developed further and produced around 540bhp, with twin KKK turbochargers. Renault was joined by Ferrari in developing turbo engines for their cars, with the Ferrari 126 C. The car had advanced ground effect technology, with concessions given to the new rules which banned sliding skirts.
Renault replaced Jean-Pierre Jabouille with promising young Alain Prost to partner René Arnoux for the season. After a slow start to the year, in which Prost gained only one podium finish, he broke his duck with a win at the French Grand Prix in changeable weather, and followed up with wins at Zandvoort and Monza, which gave him an outside chance at the world championship. Unreliability cost him his chance, but he finished a respectable fourth in the final standings. Arnoux had a very unlucky season and bore the brunt of most of the mechanical trouble that affected the RE30's development, most of which was done by Prost. The RE30 didn't suit Arnoux's aggressive driving style as opposed to Prost's smooth driving style which may have caused some of the problems with his car.
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