Renault F1

French flag

 
Team Principles Eric Boullier FRA (2010- )
Bob Bell GBR (2009)
Flavio Briattore ITA (2002-2009)
Gerard Toth FRA (1985)
Gerard Larrousse FRA (1977-84)
Jean Sage FRA (1977-78)
Designers James Allison GBR (2009- )
Tim Densham GBR (2009-2010)
Pat Symonds GBR (2008-2009)
Bob Bell GBR (2004-2009)
Mike Gascoyne GBR (2002-2003)
Bernard Touret FRA (1985)
Michel Tetu FRA (1979-1984)
Andre de Cortanze FRA (1977-78)
Jean-Pierre Jabouille FRA (1977-78)

Renault History & Team Record

Part 1: Equipe Renault

Turbo's, turbo's everywhere and mostly up in smoke - well at least for the first few seasons. The Renault mechanics had to endure years of being the subject of the pit lane jokes.  Engine and turbocharger fires were so common that it was found that could simply poke a wet mop up the exhaust of the car to extinguish the flames!
Fortunately, by 1979 the reliability started to come around and by 1980 they had become serious contenders. A huge crash at the Canadian GP ended Jean-Pierre Jabouille's F1 career and a young, talented driver by the name of Alain Prost was signed to replace him for 1981.  This was the spark needed to vie for the World Championship, but for three seasons the team fell just short and Prost moved on to McLaren after another disappointment in 1983. 

The 1984 season was a disaster. After supplying engines to Lotus starting in 1983, the French government pressured state owned Renault into also giving engines to Ligier and it was clear that resources were being stretched very thin. Gerard Larrousse and designer Michel Tetu left for Ligier at the end of the season forcing more changes upon an already failing organization.

1985 showed the weaknesses of the Renault chassis program as the Lotus' of Senna and de Angelis were clearly superior while using the same engine.  It was decided to disband the works team at the end of the season but to continue supplying engines in 1986 to Lotus, Ligier and Tyrrell.

Year Chassis Engine Tyre Drivers Start Win Pole F Lap Pts Pos
1977 RS01 Renault EF1 V6t MI 15 Jabouille

4

0

0

0

0

-

1978 RS01 Renault EF1 V6t MI 15 Jabouille

14

0

0

0

3

12th

1979 RE10
RS01
Renault EF1 V6t MI 15 Jabouille
16 Arnoux

14

1

6

2

26

6th

1980 RE20 Renault EF1 V6t MI 15 Jabouille
16 Arnoux

14

3

5

4

38

4th

1981 RE30
RE20B
Renault EF1 V6t MI 15 Prost
16 Arnoux

15

3

6

2

54

3rd

1982 RE30B Renault EF1 V6t MI 15 Prost
16 Arnoux

16

4

10

5

62

3rd

1983 RE40
RE30C
Renault EF1 V6t MI 15 Prost
16 Cheever

15

4

3

3

79

2nd

1984 RE50 Renault EF4 V6t MI 15 Tambay
16 Warwick
33 Streiff (1 race only)

16

0

1

2

34

5th

1985 RE60B
RE60
Renault EF15 V6t
Renault EF4 V6t
GY 14 Hesnault (1 race only)
15 Tambay
16 Warwick

15

0

0

0

16

7th

       

Equipe Renualt era

123 15 31 18 312  

     

Part 2: Renault F1

After a short hiatus the company re-entered F1 competition in 1988 purely as an engine partner with its V10 design, enjoying huge success first with Williams and then Benetton.  Once again, the company withdrew from official participation at the end of 1997, handing over the preparation and development of its powerplants first to Mecachrome and then to former Benetton team manager Flavio Briatore's company SuperTec.  However, during the 2000 season the Benetton family decided to sell the team and Briatore brokered a deal for a now privately held Renault to return to competition with a works team in 2002.

2001 was a development year in which Benetton ran the radical new 111 degree V10 design with limited success, though towards the end of the season the engine began to show promise and the works team were much more optimistic of their chances during the 2002 than they were in 1977. Benetton driver Jenson Button stayed on to partner Finn, Jarno Trulli (who was managed by Briatore) and the team looked set make a run for the championship. All the promise came to nothing however as the team struggled with aerodynamic grip and reliability issues as Ferrari once again dominated the series. Button moved on to BAR and for 2003 Flavio Briatore promoted former test driver (and protégé) Fernando Alonso to partner Trulli. Finally in Hungary the young Spaniard netted the teams first win since Alain Prost won the Austrian GP in 1983.

The momentum gained in 2003 carried through into the next season and Trulli scored a sensational win at Monaco as the team consistently challenged for podium positions and finished third in the Constructor's Championship. Trulli's relationship with the team (and Briatore in particular) deteriorated rapidly during the second half of the season and it came as no surprise that he announced a move to Toyota. In light of this, Trulli was replaced for the final two races of the year by former champion Jacques Villeneuve, who was returning to F1 after a season. The Canadian did nothing to impress the team and for 2005 Giancarlo Fisichella was signed to partner Alonso.

Mild Seven Renault F1 logo

The 2005 season began in fine style as Fisichella won the opening Australian GP in the rain, however from that point on it was Alonso who took control of the championship as the Italian, as well as main challenger Kimi Raikonnen of McLaren, were hit with a rash of mechanical problems. Despite a mid-season resurgence by Raikonnen and McLaren team-mate Juan-Pablo Montoya, Alonso became the youngest ever F1 Champion at the Brazilian GP then went on to win in China to secure Renault's first ever Constructor's Championship.

2006 saw a very close fight between Alonso and a resurgent Michael Schumacher and Ferrari with both titles going down to the wire, with the young Spaniard repeating as champion. However uncertainties over Renault's long term commitment in F1 led to Alonso signing with McLaren for 2007, with young Finnish test driver Heikki Kovalainen being promoted to the race team to replace the departing champion. Although the team finished in third place in the constructors championship, they failed to win a race for the first time since 2002 and took about a quarter of the points scored the previous year.

Fernando Alonso's turbulent stay at McLaren ended after just one season and he resigned with his old team for 2008 and although they struggled early on, the team outscored everyone over the last six races of the year. The Spaniard took back-to-back wins in Singapore and Japan to put Renault back on track and make for a very strong 4th place finish.  

Year Chassis Engine Tyre Drivers Start Win Pole F Lap Pts Pos
2002 R202 Renault RS22 V10 MI 14 Trulli
15 Button
TD Alonso

17

0

0

0

23

4th

2003 R23B
R23
Renault RS23 V10 MI 7 Trulli
8 Alonso
TD McNish

16

1

2

1

88

4th

2004 R24 Renault RS25 V10
Renault RS24 V10
MI 7 Trulli / J Villeneuve
8 Alonso
TD Montagny

18

1

3

0

105

3rd

2005 R25 Renault RS25B V10 MI 5 Alonso
6 Fisichella
TD Montagny

19

8

7

3

191

1st

2006 R26 Renault RS26 V8 MI 1 Alonso
2 Fisichella
TD Kovalainen

18

8

7

5

206

1st

2007 R27 Renault RS27 V8 BS 3 Kovalainen
4 Fisichella
TD Zonta
TD Piquet Jr

17

0

0

0

51

3rd

2008 R28 Renault RS28 V8 BS 5 Alonso
6 Piquet Jr
TD Di Grassi

18

2

0

0

80

4th

2009 R29 Renault RS29 V8 BS 5 Alonso
6 Piquet Jr / Grosjean (7 races)
TD Grosjean

17

0

1

2

26

8th

2010 R30 Renault RS30 V8 BS 14 Kubica
15 Petrov
TD Tung

19

0

0

1

163

5th

2011 R31 Renault RS31 V8 PI 9   Heidfeld / B.Senna
10 Petrov
TD B.Senna

19

0

0

0

73

5th

       

1st Renault F1 era

178 20 20 12 1006  
       

TOTAL

301 35 51 30 1318  

ING Renault F1 logo

The strong finish to 2008 gave the team confidence for the '09 season, but the year started badly with numerous retirements. Nelson Piquet Jr was replaced by test driver Romain Grosjean after 10 races though neither scored a point. Alonso managed just one podium (in Singapore) and departed to Ferrari at seasons end.

After Piquet Jr's dismissal from the team, allegations of race fixing at the 2008 Singapore GP arose and were investigated by the FIA. The Brazilian driver stated that he was asked by Renault team principal Flavio Briatore and engineer Pat Symonds to deliberately crash so that a safety car would be deployed and give lead driver Fernando Alonso an advantage (he eventually won the race). After initially denying the charges and threatening legal action, Renault stated they would not contest the charges and that Briatore and Symonds had left the team in September, 2009.  Technical Director Bob Bell took over the management of the team for the rest of the season. 

  2010 Renault R30 launch photo Nick Heidfled in the RS31 during the 2011 Australian GP

Part 3: Genii Capital

At the end of 2009 Renault announced that they were selling 75% of the team to Genii Capital, a Luxembourg investment company led by Gerard Lopez, but would continue to supply engines. Lopez appointed Eric Boullier of Gravity Sport Management the new team principal in January 2010 with Bob Bell returning to his role of Technical Director.  Pole Robert Kubica was recruited to lead the team and was paired with Russian Vitaly Petrov, who brought addition sponsorship from several Russian sources. Apart from a great drive in Hungary, Petrov was completely outclassed by Kubica throughout the season with the Polish driver taking 3 podiums and outscoring his team-mate 136 points to 27 points.

Although the season was promising, Renault decided to end its minority ownership of the team and sold the remaining 35% share to Group Lotus, owned by Malaysian car maker Proton which  set up a legal battle with Tony Fernandes' 1Malaysia Team (who had been entered under the Lotus F1 name and running the traditional green and yellow colours) over the use of the name in Formula 1. The cars were entered as "Lotus Renault GP" even though Renault no longer owned the team and were painted in the classic John Player Special-era black and gold. The dispute was settled when Fernandes purchased the Caterham sports car company and stated his team would be entered in the 2012 championship under that name, opening the way for Genii to run as Lotus from 2012 on and the Renault name to disappear once more from the name of the chassis.

  

Part 4: Return of Renault F1

During 2015 Renault announced that it was re-evaluating its participation in F1 and during the course of the year held negotiations with Genii Capital about repurchasing the team. This was finally announced at the end of the season after much rancor and heated meetings regarding legacy payments by the Formula One Group to fund the team.

Year Chassis Engine Tyre Drivers Start Win Pole F Lap Pts Pos
2016 RS16 Renault Energy F1-2016 V6t PI #20 K.Magnussen
#30 Jol. Palmer
TD Ocon

21

0 0 0 8 9th
2017 RS17 Renault Energy F1-2017 V6t PI #27 Hulkenburg
#30 Jol. Palmer
TD

-

- - - - -
       

2nd Renault F1 era

21 0 0 0 8  
       

TOTAL

322 35 51 30 1326  
     


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