Renault RE30B

Renault RE30B

by Luca Dal Monte

In its fourth full season in Formula 1, Renault finally becomes a contender. Out of a total of 28 races over two seasons (1981 and 1982) plus the tail end of a third (1983), the RE30 and its immediate evolution, the RE30B, win seven Grand Prix races and secure six second places, resulting in two consecutive third-place finishes in the Constructors’ World Championship standings.

In terms of design, the RE30 completely breaks away from the model that preceded it and ushered the French team from the 1970s to the 1980s. The project is the work of two French engineers, Bernard Dudot and Michel Tetu. The shape of the car is more angular, with the rear part of the cockpit being lower and tapered. The chassis, an aluminum alloy monocoque, features elements made of carbon fiber.

The engine is the proven 90° V6 turbocharged unit with which Renault revolutionized the world of Formula 1 starting in the summer of 1977. Subject to continuous development, the Renault turbo engine has a power output of approximately 540 hp.

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Alain Prost: The French driver is in his first season with Renault. Not yet the all-conquering ace he will become, Prost is nonetheless immediately successful. He achieves three victories in the 1981 season – France, Netherlands, and Italy – and two in the following season, in South Africa and Brazil. Despite securing second places in the French and Swiss Grand Prix (both held in French territory, the first at Paul Ricard, the second at Dijon), at the end of the ’82 season, he can’t do better than fourth place in the Drivers’ Championship.

René Arnoux: 1982 marks the final season with Renault for Arnoux, who has raced with the French team since 1979. With the RE30B, René clinches victory at Paul Ricard and Monza, second place at Hockenheim, and third at Kyalami. A nightmare spring and early summer, with eight retirements in nine races, mean that by the end of the year, René can’t do better than sixth place in the Drivers’ Championship.

Our model cars:

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For the 1982 season, the RE30 transforms into the 30B to comply with the new regulations. The most significant modification concerns the reintroduction of side skirts, known as ‘miniskirts.’

The RE30B wins its debut race in South Africa. Before the end of the season, this car will have won four Grand Prix races and secured four podium finishes. The season could have been much more positive if the RE30B hadn’t been so fragile, forcing Renault’s two drivers to endure an impressive series of retirements – seventeen in total between Prost and Arnoux.

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