Renault may power his RB9, but as Sebastian Vettel soon discovers, not all Renault-powered cars are the same.
Sebastian Vettel likes Renault power. After all, the French automaker has propelled him to all three of his world championships and all but one of his 28 grand prix victories. But a couple of days ago, the reigning F1 champion tried his hand at some very different Renaults than he’s used to driving. While visiting Renault’s headquarters at Viry-Chatillon, Vettel got behind the wheel of the Twizy RS F1 concept as well as the very first Renault model ever made, the 1898 Type A.
The custom Twizy incorporates the same KERS electric motor as his Red Bull Racing car, but not its high-revving 2.4-liter V8. The central driving position, the steering wheel and racing slicks (similar to what he used in the Formula Renault 3.5 series in 2006-07) must have been familiar to the three-time world champion, but the Type A was likely a very different experience. That car has a one-cylinder De Dion-Bouton engine and a very different driving position than even the high-riding special-edition Infiniti FX that bears his name.