Yesterday Renault did confirm that it will change its livery ahead of the first race of the season after unveiling a predominantly black car at its launch on Wednesday.
The French manufacturer took the wraps off a repainted Lotus E23 at its headquarters near Paris as it launched the team’s new management and driver line up after buying the Lotus F1 team last year.
However, the RS16 livery on display is just an interim design for pre-season testing (where it will also roll out its new-for-2016 RS16 F1 car) and a different colour scheme will be on the car at the first round in Australia.
In an statement to the media yesterday after the launch of the F1 programme, Renault Sport F1’s managing director Cyril Abiteboul said the following about the current situation as follows:-
‘We are not launching [the RS16] but it will be at the test. It will be with this livery but it will be the 2016 car that we will be actually testing in Barcelona. Then closer to Melbourne there will be a reveal of what the final colour will look like.’
Further on in his interview with the media yesterday, Abiteboul stated that even though the RS16 has passed its crash tests with Abiteboul adding that it is a completely new car compared to last year’s E23. Abiteboul added the following:-
‘It’s a 2016 chassis homologated a couple of weeks ago with new crash tests and so and so forth. There has been a number of changes that have happened in order to make it compliant with the new regulations. It’s a completely new car.’