Renault RE40

Renault RE40

by Luca Dal Monte

The new regulations that come into force starting from the 1983 season once again revolutionize Formula 1 by removing the side skirts and abolishing ground effect. The bottom of the car is now flat. Designers Michel Tetu and Bernard Dudot create a chassis entirely made of carbon fiber. The only aluminum part is the crash box positioned at the front of the nose, protecting the driver’s feet.

Aerodynamics are entrusted to the intuition and experience of Jean-Claude Migeot. The rear wings are very generous to create more downforce. Thus, the Renault RE40, a compact, agile, and finally reliable car, designed for Prost’s driving style. For, after Arnoux’s departure, Prost took on the majority of the development work, which will not prove to be in vain.

The engine is the 1.5-liter Renault-Gordini EF1 V6, in its seventh and final season of use.

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Alain Prost: The world title slips away from Prost only in the last race, the South African Grand Prix, where he arrives with a two-point lead over Nelson Piquet, his direct rival in the fight for the world crown. An engine failure shortly before halfway through the race forces the Frenchman to retire and abandon his dreams of the world championship. The title goes by just two points to Piquet, who finishes third. Prost gets furious and storms off, fed up with often being the lightning rod only to be betrayed by yet another breakdown of some part of his RE40. Throughout the season, he also secures three pole positions and three fastest race laps.

Eddie Cheever: The young American driver replaces Arnoux, who moved to Ferrari. 1983 is his only season with the French team. Eddie doesn’t waste the opportunity and secures a second place in Montreal and three third places at Paul Ricard, Spa, and Monza.

Our model cars:

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The RE40 makes its debut at the United States Grand Prix West in Long Beach, the second race of the 1983 season, in Prost’s hands alone. The debut is revisable, but it’s Prost who takes it to victory for the first time in the next race, the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard. In total, the car achieves four victories in the season, all clinched by the French driver, who for the first time enters the battle for the world championship title.

Six podiums, combined with four victories, make Renault the runner-up team in the 1983 Constructors’ World Championship.

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