Double world champions last year. But with Alonso gone what can they do to keep momentum?
Fisi is no Alonso but at least he's won a race or two and he knows the team pretty well. However this is one of those situations where familiarity seems to have built contempt rather than respect.
Hekki seems to be super fast and it's going to be really interesting to see how it goes for him. Last year saw the promising Rosberg disappoint. But learning in a difficult car can be tricky – just ask Massa who came on in leaps and bounds once given the chance in a Ferrari. We don't yet know what the Renault will be like but it's hard to imagine it's going to be as bad as a Williams. And with his key rookie opponent being Hamilton in the "needing vast improvement" McLaren. And it's certainly going to be easier to look impressive next to Fisi than Alonso.
The team have hardly changed other than a minor tweak to Pat Symonds role. Which is probably their biggest strength over Ferrari and McLaren where things have been moving a lot.
The team don't think Fisi can win. But some of the team think that showing they can win even with Fisi will prove the car is the star. Both of these opinions will piss off their rather sensitive driver. As will Hekki beating him on occasion.
Fisi quits or is fired before the end of the season.
Renault end the season in fourth proving that the drivers are important in Formula one.