|Full Name||Renault Sport F1 Team|
|Base|| Dieppe, France |
Leafield, United Kingdom
|Founder(s)|| Renault S.A. |
|Team Principal(s)|| Flavio Briatore |
|Technical Director|| Bob Bell |
|Noted Former Drivers|
| Jean-Pierre Jabouille
Renault are a French automaker who have been involved in Motorsport since the beginning of the 20th century.
They have been involved in Grand Prix racing as a fully-fledged manufacturer as well as an engine supplier, both in Formula One and the AutoReject World Series - in the latter of which they have also been represented by the Infiniti brand.
Renault also have competed in rallying and touring car racing.
In 1977 Renault became the first major production car manufacturer to enter Formula One in the commercial era, with a pair of cars entered by the in-house Équipe Renault Elf team headed by engineer and driver Jean-Pierre Jabouille alongside fellow F2 frontrunner Jean-Pierre Jarier. Renault were pioneers for the use of the V6 Turbo engine, which would later become the dominant choice of engine for the majority of the paddock. Reliability would be an issue in the early days of the team and as such would regularly retire from the races.
Renault returned to the F1 paddock in 1989, supplying power units to the Canon Williams and Camel Team Lotus outfits. Lotus's Frédéric-Maxime Voeckler won Renault's first race of their return season with a one-two at the Portuguese Grand Prix, whilst Williams's Nigel Mansell took the final race of the decade at the Mexican Grand Prix.
The French manufacturer vacated Formula One in an official capacity in 1998, but continued to supply engines to teams for the next three seasons under the Mecachrome, Supertec and Playlife monikers.
In 2000, Renault purchased Benetton Arrows for $120 million - but would not enter Formula One in its own right until 2002. Renault's first lineup consisted of two of the most exciting young drivers on the grid at the time, Spaniard Fernando Alonso and Briton Jenson Button - whom had both raced for Benetton Arrows the year before. Alonso was managed by Renault team principal Flavio Briatore and was symbolically made the #1 driver at the team despite having less experience and scoring the same amount of points as Button in 2001. Button took the first points for Renault, with a fifth place finish in the Malaysian Grand Prix. Another fifth followed several races later in the European Grand Prix - which was soon bettered by an incredibly popular third place at Button's home race in Great Britain, Renault's first podium of the new regime and their best finish of the season. Despite this strong result - Button's frustration with the team hierarchy combined with more consistent showings from Alonso meant that the Briton would leave Renault at the end of 2002. Alonso finished ahead of Button in the WDC with a seventh place compared to Button's ninth, with Renault finishing in a decent fourth place in the Constructor's standings.
Australian driver Mark Webber moved over from Jaguar in 2003, continuing Renault's policy of nuturing young drivers. Renault were much more competitive this year, with Alonso taking a second place and a third in the first two races - with the team scoring more consistently in general. Webber took another step forward after the mid-season break - taking his and the new Renault's first win in the German Grand Prix. Alonso continued to rack up the podium finishes and was slowly beginning to emerge as a possible future championship contender. Alonso capped off the season in great style, taking the flag in the final two races in the USA and Japan.
2004 arrived and Renault were looking like strong contenders again - however the boycott of races within the European Union by the FIA and FOTA as result of a conflict regarding the European Arrest Warrant meant that the calendar was majorly slashed - eliminating the chance to test and improve the car throughout the year. Ferrari dominated proceedings, predictably, but Alonso and Renault were able to get a single win in the United States Grand Prix. Webber didn't fare so well at Indianapolis, having a heavy accident on the last corner that ruled him out of three races on medical grounds. Webber would be replaced by 1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve before he returned at the last race of the season.
2005 saw Alonso be joined by young Finn Kimi Räikkönen in what was set to be the most wide-open championship in many years, with Renault, McLaren, Ferrari, Williams and Toyota all bringing very strong packages. The lead of the championship switched almost race by race - with Alonso, Räikkönen, James James Davies, Rubens Barrichello and Daniel Melrose all heading into the final round in China. The lead switched often in this frantic race but eventually Alonso capitalised on a last-lap error from Kimi Räikkönen to secure Alonso his first and only F1 World Driver's Championship, with some pundits in the Spanish media dubbing the race El Milagro de Shanghai.
Defending champion Alonso took a large offer from Honda in 2006 which saw Räikkönen take the lead of the team - being joined by former tester Loïc Duval. Räikkönen was dominant and seemed odds on to take the title at a canter before a severe accident at the Hungaroring saw him ruled out of the rest of the season - effectively handing the title to Ferrari's James James Davies. Nick Heidfeld took the lead of the team in Räikkönen's absence.
Heidfeld continued his stay with the team into 2007, with the German driver joined by Jenson Button - making his return to the team. Button and Heidfeld were occasional podium scorers and scored enough for third in the WCC after McLaren's exclusion due to the Spygate scandal. 2007 also saw Red Bull Racing become Renault customers for the first time.
2009 was even worse than the year before with the combination of Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean barely scoring any points. Räikkönen also had to abandon the team midway through the year with issues related to his previous injury - which saw him replaced by Nico Hülkenberg. Renault finished in a woeful tenth place - only beating Prodrive (who withdrew midway through the year) and Super Aguri. However, Red Bull scored five wins over the course of the season - the first Renault powered wins for two years.
Grosjean was joined by former Toro Rosso driver Thomas de Bock in 2010 Alternate Formula One season - with the expanded grid meaning that Renault was a solid mid-field team once again. De Bock and Grosjean both scored a podium each with Renault finishing 2010 in seventh place. Renault attracted another engine supplier in 2010, with Spanish team Campos Meta 1 taking the French power units for their first season.
Renault gained several engine supply deals in 2011; with Stefan, Force India and Lola joining up alongside the works team. Renault managed a pair of wins from Romain Grosjean and Alexandre-Laurent Voeckler which was enough for 6th in the constructor's standings.
Stefan and Force India both dropped Renault supply for Hyundai in 2012, with Russian squad Marussia joining up with Renault. Grosjean took Renault's sole win of the season as Voeckler was replaced by Fernando Alonso midway through the year - making his return to the team which delivered his sole World Championship. In the final race of the season, James James Davies scored a shock win for Renault customer Lola - the first for the small British outfit.
In 2013, Renault added British team Caterham to its parade of customers. The works team ran with a pair of Venezuelan talents in Johnny Cecotto, Jr and Giancarlo Serenelli by virtue of some increased funding from PDVSA - a state owned oil and gas company. Results were disappointing, with the team finishing in eleventh overall. This would be Renault's final season in Formula One to date - with the manufacturer pulling out completely to focus on other projects.
Renault were one of the original teams to commit to the new World Touring Car Masters series in 1988 - partnering with the Spanish dealer-supported Mediterranean Motorsport team as well as Voeckler Grand Prix Engineering to run a number of Renault 21 saloons. Their first season was an abject failure which saw the Spanish consortium collapse - paving the way for an increase in support for the Voeckler efforts in 1989 and 1990. Results gradually improved and the team even scored a number of class wins in late 1990 at the hands of Alain Cudini and Jacques Laffite. Despite this strong finish to 1990, Renault briefly departed the series due to a change of ruleset - requiring time to develop the new Renault 19 challenger.