RENAULT SPORT F1 – A HISTORY

RENAULT SPORT F1 – A HISTORY

March 11, 2014

SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO'S ENGINE SUPPLIER

For more than 35 years Renault has been competing at the pinnacle of grand prix racing, enjoying success as both an engine supplier and constructor.

As a works team from 1977 to 1985, Renault revolutionised Formula One with the introduction of the 1.5 litre V6 turbocharged engine. It was a daring technological gamble, but it set a design trend as Renault's competitors followed suit. The rewards soon came as the team secured its first Grand Prix victory during the 1979 French Grand Prix – with Jean-Pierre Jabouille behind the wheel of the RS10. By 1983, the team was in the hunt for the world title, narrowly missing out as Alain Prost finished runner-up in the Drivers' Championship, just two points behind winner Nelson Piquet.

When the works team departed the sport in 1985, engine supply continued for customers such as Lotus and Ligier. Behind the scenes, with turbos soon to be banned, Renault restructured racing activities and returned to the fore at the end of the decade as an engine partner of Williams. As a supplier of the benchmark V10 engine to Williams and then Benetton from 1995, Renault shared in the success of six consecutive Constructors' world titles from 1992 to 1997, taking five Drivers' titles in the same period with Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Michael Schumacher, Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve.

Renault officially departed Formula One at the end of 1997, but work continued in a small development cell at the Viry-Châtillon works near Paris. This cell was the foundation on which Renault's eventual return to Formula One was laid. The company purchased the Benetton team, and the Renault name eventually reappeared as a constructor in 2002.

 

RENAULT SPORT F1

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Renault's return to Formula One saw the team base its efforts around centres in England and France, developing the chassis and engines in parallel. The site in Viry-Châtillon, which had developed the initial V6 turbo engines in the '70s, was the natural choice for the team's engine operations, while for the design and manufacture of the chassis, Renault made use of the pre-existing resources of the Benetton team in Enstone, Oxfordshire. The resurrected Renault team got back to winning ways in 2003 when Fernando Alonso triumphed at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Jarno Trulli would take it to a second victory, winning the 2004 Monaco Grand Prix and after that the floodgates opened. Renault won the Drivers' and Constructors' Championships in 2005 and repeated the feat in 2006.

The Red Bull Racing-Renault collaboration started in 2007 and has grown into one of the most successful engine-chassis partnerships in the history of the championship. In just seven years, the duo scored 47 wins, 57 pole positions and 41 fastest laps and in 2013 secured the quadruple double: four consecutive constructors' and drivers' championships with Sebastian Vettel.

To date, Renault has won 12 Constructors' World Titles and 11 Drivers' World Titles in the championship, plus more than 160 wins. It also holds the overall record of pole positions for an engine manufacturer.

Scuderia Toro Rosso joined the Renault fold for the first time in 2014, a year of major changes for Formula One racing. The cars are powered by a cutting edge powertrain that combines a turbocharged internal combustion engine and innovative energy recovery systems. For Renault, the next generation of V6 turbos sees its involvement in F1 come full circle.