Paris, Feb 22 (IANS) The Renault Formula One team has set the target at the fifth position up from ninth one year earlier, as they launched their new car for the 2017 season.

Four-time world champion Alain Prost joined the team as a special advisor on Tuesday, reports Xinhua news agency.

The yellow-and-black R.S.17 is expected to boost the team’s performance in the upcoming season, which will roll off in Australia late in March.

“The year of 2017 will be a crucial one,” said Renault SportRacing Chairman Jerome Stoll, referring to the second car produced since Renault returned to F1 as a works team.

After finishing an acquisition of struggling Lotus late in 2015, Renault was believed to have inherited a car developed by Lotus. R.S.17 was regarded as the first real Renault Formula 1 car in modern era, according to the team’s chief technical officer Bob Bell.

“It’s the first time that the car has been developed by us. We expect to finish fifth at the end,” added Stoll.

Nico Huelkenberg, joining from Force India, will partner with Jolyon Palmer in competing for Renault.

As next Monday’s first round of testing in Barcelona approached, F1 teams began to unveil their vehicles for the new season, with team Sauber the first to unveil their car on Monday.

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