Renault has finally revealed the livery for its comeback Formula 1 campaign on the eve of the 2016 Formula 1 World Championship opener in Melbourne.
The French manufacturer, which scaled back its involvement as a constructor in 2010 in favour of focusing primarily as an engine supplier, has upgraded back to a full factory entry for 2016 through the purchase of the Lotus F1 team.
Though the RS16 itself was revealed at the start of pre-season testing, Renault opted to maintain a low profile both on and off track, using a modest black livery with yellow inserts over the course of the eight days.
However, two days before track action officially gets underway at Albert Park for the Australian Grand Prix, Renault has – as expected – flipped the livery to predominantly adopt the firm's corporate yellow hues. The car also features gold 'honeycomb' design inserts on the engine cover and black wings.
"Yellow is the traditional colour of Renault since 1946, so 70 years that we are celebrating with that colour," managing director Cyril Abiteboul said. "That says something about how true we can be to our history. But also along with the head of design at Renault we've been working on a couple of things to also make it interesting.
"First and foremost it's matt to to also express some form of connection with the road cars that you can see in the Renault Sport range.
"You see some bits of black which we decided to keep because we understood there was a lot of enthusiasm for the car that we tested over the winter. And you see also something that will be even more visible on the actual car because obviously that's not the car that we will race on Friday - that could not be here, it's in bits - which is the gold at the back of the car.
"It will be even more visible again on the race car. It is a statement for where we want to be: gold and nothing else, nothing less than that."
Renault, whose comeback season will be helmed by team principal Frederic Vasseur – joining from multiple GP2 champions ART - , has made modest predictions for the year ahead, but improved expectations to potential points in Melbourne after a positive stint in testing.
Kevin Magnussen – a late replacement for Pastor Maldonado – and Jolyon Palmer will drive the striking RS16s this season, the former ex-McLaren driver returning to action after year out and the latter making his F1 debut after winning the 2014 GP2 title.