No longer satisfied with simply providing engines, Renault confirmed that it will return to running its own Formula One team next season. Though the terms of the deal are still being worked out, the French automaker will re-acquire the team currently known as Lotus. Renault previously owned and operated this same operation for almost 10 years. As a full team, Renault will take maximum benefit from its victories, just like rivals Ferrari and Mercedes.
Renault has had uninterrupted involvement in Formula 1 for almost 40 years. Renault first entered the series in 1977 it revolutionized the championship with the introduction of turbocharging. The company shut down the original Équipe Renault Elf in 1985, but continued powering Lotus, Ligier, and Tyrrell for another season. After a three-year break, it returned as an engine supplier with Williams in 1989, winning championship titles with the likes of Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, and Damon Hill behind the wheel. Renault has since taken part in more than 600 grand prix, claiming 168 race wins, 12 Constructors’ titles and 11 Drivers’ crowns.
“Renault had two options: to come back at 100 percent or leave. After a detailed study, I have decided that Renault will be in Formula 1, starting 2016. The final details supplied by F1’s main stakeholders gave us the confidence to accept this new challenge. Our ambition is to win–even if it will take some time,” said Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO, Renault.
Renault’s decision to continue its involvement in Formula 1 is confirmation that it sees motorsport as an essential part of the brand’s identity. As the pinnacle of motor sports, Formula 1 demands technological and operational excellence. The championship serves as a showcase for the technological expertise that Renault dials into its products for the benefit of its customers. Consistent with its commitment to F1, Renault will develop its R.S. range by stepping up investment in order to be active on every continent and in even more segments with vehicles that meet the needs of their different markets.