With an involvement in Formula One – as both constructor and engine supplier – spanning 30 years and including 650 Grand Prix, 170 victories and 12 titles, the launch of a new Renault F1 car was always going to cause a buzz louder than a village of active beehives. It, therefore, came as little surprise when the great and good from the world of motorsport packed into Pimlico’s Lindley Hall for the launch of the R.S. 17 in February this year. To great fanfare, Renault Sport Formula One Team leaders, sponsors and drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Jolyon Palmer plus development driver Sergey Sirotkin were joined by F1 legend and long-term Renault supporter Alain Prost to unveil the 2017 car.
Before the big reveal, team bosses including Renault Sport President Jérôme Stoll and Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul, took to the stage to explain that, while the 2016 F1 season had set the vision and ambition for Renault Sport, 2017 would be about reaping the rewards thanks to the integration and growth of the team and, of course, the right car. The key words for the event were passion, spirit, performance and technology, which meant that Renault Sports official watch partner since 2016, Bell & Ross, felt right at home; Renault’s mission statement echoing its own standards of “legibility, functionality, precision and reliability”.
Due to its exclusive relationship with Renault, B&R’s Co-founder and CEO Carlos-A. Rosillo chose the London debut of the R.S. 17 to introduce the first in a trilogy of new watches dedicated to the team. Although the threesome won’t have its official launch until Baselworld later this month, Rosillo allowed a sneak peek at the first of the set: the BR03-94 RS17. While the signature 42mm square case is pure Bell & Ross, most of the material influences and design cues come straight from Renault Sport – if you don’t like yellow, this is not the watch for you!