World champions for the past two seasons but probably only third or fourth fastest at the moment on the evidence of pre-season testing.
Double champion Fernando Alonso's departure to McLaren leaves them with a far less convincing line-up. Italian Giancarlo Fisichella, 34, won just once last year while Finland's Heikki Kovalainen, 25, has yet to start a Grand Prix.
Reliability is a Renault strong point and that could be important early in the season. Another big plus is the tactical nous of engineering head Pat Symonds and continuity under the leadership of Flavio Briatore.
Born: January 14, 1973.
Race debut: Australia 1996 (Minardi).
Born: October 19, 1981.
Race debut: Australia 2007.
Photographs: Getty Images | Text: Reuters