The fun started late. So late that people queueing outside the vast viewing room in Renault's giant Technocentre near Versailles, venue for the all-important F1 announcement, started wondering if CEO Carlos Ghosn's Uber driver had got lost on his way from the airport. Maybe his Nissan Leaf had run out of thrust.

It turned out to be nothing like that. There were merely a few electronic glitches; the event was slick and absorbing once it got going.

The burden of the story was well known. Renault was returning to F1 by buying the Lotus team, and would operate in the UK from the base it owned before at Enstone, Oxfordshire, and from the engine HQ at Viry, outside Paris, which it has occupied for a long time.

It had all been a bit of a surprise. CEO Carlos Ghosn had never before shown any enthusiasm for racing, and besides, Renault's engine men had taken a fearful, drawn-out dressing down last season from Red Bull, their most prominent engine customer, for the underperformance of their tiny hybrid V6.