The newly-named Lotus Renault GP team has become the fourth F1 team to reveal its new car for the 2011 F1 season.
The covers came off the R31 during a launch event at the Valencia circuit ahead of the three day test which will begin on Tuesday.
After an impressive return to form with the R30 last year, Renault will now hope to challenge for victory again this season with team chairman Gerard Lopez saying he was confident that the team can hit its target of improving in both the drivers' and constructors' championship.
“For Genii Capital and Lotus Renault GP, the 2011 season will be the one in which we achieve our aims,” said Gerard Lopez. “We now have 100 per cent ownership of the team, and we're tackling the coming championship with the intention of continuing to do things our way – but always with humility.
“I would like to welcome Lotus Cars, a new ambitious title sponsor with us for the long term. Renault and Total have also chosen to accompany us again in this adventure and we thank them for their valuable contribution. Our aim for 2011 is to continue our march towards the front of the grid, seize the slightest opportunity and do better than last season in both the drivers' and constructors' championships. We feel we are well prepared for the challenge ahead.”
The R31 features a new suspension layout on the rear end as part of a raft of changes compared to the R30, with technical director James Allison insisting it was difficult to compare the two cars.
“2011 is a different year with a new set of regulations and that's why the R31 is a very different car,” he said. “For example, KERS is back this year and the car has been completely re-engineered to accommodate that system in an efficient way. We've also chosen to change the layout of our rear suspension by opting for a pull rod system for the first time in decades. As I said before, anyone can see that the treatment we have given to some specific areas is completely new compared with anything we have done previously. All of those things are aimed at trying to maximise the R31 under the 2011 rules.
“There are many teams that know how to produce a good car and we're under no illusion about the scale of the challenge facing us in 2011. I think that last year we perhaps exceeded the expectations of some people in the pit lane, but we certainly didn't outperform our own expectations. While we were happy to be moving back in the right direction, we would be frustrated if we started 2011 operating at the same performance level we showed last year. That means we want the R31 to be competitive right from the off and in with a chance of scoring podiums or better from the first race. Considering the tremendous effort that has gone in at all levels to produce this car, that would be a fitting reward for all concerned.”
TO SEE ALL THE PICTURES FROM THE R31 LAUNCH, CLICK HERE