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Renault debut the R31 ahead of Valencia test // The new black and gold car is revealed

Published by Christine

The Renault R31, along with more drivers than they can possibly ever need
Credit: Andrew Ferraro/LAT Photographic

We've already seen the black and gold livery in various forms, but today Renault unveiled their 2011 car with the official colours that will be racing. The car has been described by the team itself as "brave" as they have neared it's launch, and it does seem to have some slightly different elements to it. The team have overhauled the chassis based on the re-introduction of KERS, the adjustable rear wing, and Renault have opted for a pull-rod suspension for 2011.

As well as a car and a paint job, the team unveiled many new and familiar faces as Renault bolstered their reserve driver numbers up to five. With Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov still on hand to provide regular driving duties, the team confirmed that Bruno Senna and Romain Grosjean have been signed up as reserves alongside last year's Ho-Pin Tung and Jan Charouz. Not forgetting Fairuz Fauzy, who was announced as reserve driver a week or so ago. I'm not sure what there is for one reserve to do, let alone five, but Renault are clearly making an announcement about their intentions in the sport.

Team boss Éric Boullier is supremely confident ahead of the season, happy that the team finally have financial stability in place, and that they can field a continued driver line-up for even more continuation. He expects great things, but knows that it's an ongoing race, saying:

The plan is to take exactly the same approach to development this year, although our expectation is to start the season in a much stronger position. That means we will have to be even more creative and will look to investigate some new technical areas that we have not examined before.

- Éric Boullier

Meanwhile, Robert Kubica is keeping his expectations in check with what may be my favourite quote of the year so far:

I think if you blow too much air into a balloon, the balloon can explode very easily.

- Robert Kubica

Well said that man. He also adds, though, that in previous years, Renault have suffered with tough morale over the off-season, but this year has been a lot better and that is already showing in the car. While he doesn't want to burst that balloon, or get his hopes up too high, he's feeling positive.

We will get to see how well the car does in the first day of testing tomorrow.

All content in the series F1 Launches 2011