The Mild Seven Renault F1 Team today launched its 2004 challenger, the Renault F1 R24, in front of 650 assembled worldwide media and VIP guests at the prestigious opera house, Teatro Massimo, in Palermo, Sicily.

The team's objective for the upcoming season will be to improve on last year's successful performance.

"We must look to dislodge at least one of the teams above us in the championship," announced chairman and CEO Patrick Faure. "One can no longer just talk about the top three teams: last year, we became part of the Big Four.

"Renault's targets for this year are, logically, placed higher, and in order to achieve them, absolute reliability will be critical. The correct steps were taken last year in order to ensure this, and we are confident we will attain this target from Melbourne onwards."

Spearheading the Renault F1 team's challenge will be Jarno Trulli and Fernando Alonso, aided by test driver Franck Montagny. Italian Trulli and Spaniard Alonso form a driver pairing that combines experience and pure speed with a proven desire to win, while Frenchman Montagny will be an integral part of the team's season-long development programme, having completed over 5000km during the winter.

"I enter this new season feeling confident," commented managing director Flavio Briatore. "Everything is in place, both at Enstone and at Viry-Ch?tillon, for us to have a fast and reliable car.

"We are delighted to enjoy excellent relationships with our historic partners Mild Seven, Total and Michelin and thrilled to welcome dynamic, famous brands such as i-mode and Guru as team Partners, Puma as an official dupplier of team clothing and footwear, as well as additional new technical suppliers. We are looking forward to sharing a successful year. As a team, I certainly don't think we have yet attained our maximum."

The car that will carry the Renault F1 team's colours in 2004, the R24, has been conceived by a team led by chief designer Mark Smith, under the guidance of technical director Bob Bell.

The car, which has been under development since September 2002, is an evolution of the R23, with the clear objective of improved performance in every area. In spite of regulation changes, the car already generates more downforce than its predecessor.

At the heart of the new car lies the RS24, an engine designed to meet the new oneengine-per-weekend regulations. The objective of project leader L?on Taillieu has been to maintain the level of performance from 2003 while meeting the new reliability demands. Furthermore, it will undergo intensive development throughout the year under the leadership of technical director Rob White.

In addition to the new commercial relationships mentioned above, the team has secured the following official supplier deals: JOBS and DMG for strengthened machining capacity, Eutelsat for satellite communications and O.Z Racing for wheel rims. The relationships with Charmilles Technologies and 3d Systems have also been extended.



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