View Full Version : Lotus Returns To F1

09-12-2010, 12:58 PM

Genii Capital and Group Lotus join forces in Lotus Renault GP

Renault announces the creation of Renault Sport F1, the sporting division that will be responsible for Renault’s involvement in Formula 1™ racing as a supplier of engines and technology for the 2011 season and beyond. Renault Sport F1 will supply three teams in 2011, which equates to 25% of the grid.

As well as supplying engines, Renault Sport F1 will conduct advanced research studies with its partners, as well as engineering programmes in areas such as transmissions and kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS).

The new division will put forward Renault’s technological response to the challenge raised by the new F1™ regulations on engines. It will be a laboratory for developing technologies that better respect the environment, applicable to combustion and electric powertrains as well as to production models.

Renault Sport F1 will operate from Viry-Châtillon, Renault’s traditional F1™ racing base. Its Chairman will be Bernard Rey, a member of Renault’s Management Committee.

The creation of Renault Sport F1 follows Renault’s decision to sell its minority stake in Renault F1 Team to Genii Capital. Renault will continue to provide strong support for the Enstone team as a supplier of engines, as well as technological and engineering expertise.

Renault has taken part in 29 F1™ racing seasons, winning nine Constructors’ world champion titles, most recently with Red Bull Racing in 2010. Renault engines secured 23 podium finishes in 2010, including a historic 1-2-3 at the Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco 2010. Renault engines have won three of the last six world championships.


Renault will be supplying engines to three of the teams on the grid in 2011:

Lotus Renault GP: Renault will be supplying engines and technological support to Lotus Renault GP, the team that previously competed under the name of Renault F1 Team and with which it won two world championships in 2005 and 2006.

Red Bull Racing Renault: the 2010 world champion has been using Renault engines for four seasons. Demonstrating its confidence in Renault, it has extended the partnership for a further two years.

1 Malaysia Racing Team (UK) Ltd: a new customer for Renault in 2011. This team made its F1 debut in 2010. It has a sound technological base with the Renault engine and Red Bull Technology transmission.

With this decision to supply engines to three teams next season, Renault is returning to its core expertise in engine manufacturing and getting ready to meet the challenges of the future, particularly the new engine regulations to be introduced over the next few years. Although details of the regulations are still under discussion, the main lines have emerged. The aims are for F1 innovations to serve progress in production vehicles, to showcase technologies that better respect the environment, to limit budgets, and to put on as spectacular a “show” as possible.

“2011 opens a new chapter in our historical involvement in Formula 1™ racing. The victory in 2010 with Red Bull Racing showed the potential of the engine specialists at Viry-Châtillon and underlines Renault’s credibility as a supplier of engines and technologies. We intend to build on this victory over the coming years and to achieve further success with our partners. Renault will adopt a proactive approach with other manufacturers and sporting bodies to meet one of the main strategic challenges of this sporting discipline: to develop an engine with technologies that will herald those applied to future production vehicles,” said Carlos Ghosn, President and CEO of Renault.


Throughout Renault’s long history in Formula 1, the success of its engines has been based on technical excellence, quality, a talent for innovation and the ability to adapt to the constraints, culture and environment of each partner. In Formula 1 and in production manufacturing, Renault has placed excellence in quality at the heart of all its projects. In both cases, this approach starts from the design phases and spans all areas: team organisation, supplier selection, intelligent design, production efficiency, etc.

Whether talking about the V6 turbo, the V10 or, more recently, the V8, Renault’s engine specialists have shown their ability to succeed in all areas and in record time, proving the sceptics wrong in many cases. They have adapted the Renault engine to different chassis for different customers, taking account of each one’s culture and requirements. Through their activities and their results, they have strengthened Renault’s image internationally as a reliable, high-performance brand.


Sport is written into Renault’s DNA. One year after the brand was founded, in 1899, Louis Renault took part in the Paris-Trouville race. This was the first in a long string of motorsports events: Paris-Ostend, Paris-Bordeaux, Paris-Berlin, etc. in a variety of disciplines, including endurance, rally and speed. Renault won the very first Grand Prix, which took place in Le Mans in 1906. Sport has made a permanent mark on the company.

1977-1986: the turbo era

In 1977, Renault made its debut in Formula 1 racing with the world famous “Yellow Teapot”. Success was not long in coming. In 1979, Jean-Pierre Jabouille claimed the first Formula 1 win for the brand. Renault then equipped its car with a revolutionary technology that everybody thought doomed to failure: a turbocharged engine. With a capacity of just 1500 cc, the V6 engine went on to beat cars fitted with 3,000 cc V8 and V12 engines. The key to its success? The turbocharger developed by the engineers and engine tuners at Viry-Châtillon. After sneering at the turbocharger, all the racing teams now wanted one. Renault’s victory in the French Grand Prix was the first in a long series, until Renault temporarily withdrew from motorsports in 1986.

1989-1997: the V10 era

Renault returned to the starting grid as an engine manufacturer in 1989. Once again, it opted for a bold solution and once again it was a success. In a paddock filled primarily with V8 and V12 engines, Renault’s V10 emerged as the best technical solution. The V10 layout was adopted by all the entrants from 1996.

In 1992, Renault won its first two world titles (Constructor and Driver) with the RS4 engine. During this period as an engine manufacturer, Renault notched up six world championship Constructors’ titles and five Drivers’ titles.

In 1997, Renault pulled out of the championship once again. However, it continued to work with its partner Mécachrome, which was running the old Renault V10 under the names Playlife, Mécachrome and Supertec. In 2000, Renault acquired the Benetton team in preparation for an adventure that would be 100% Renault. In 2001, it ran an official Renault engine with the Benetton chassis.

2002-2010: the all-Renault reign

In 2002, Renault opened a new page when it lined up on the starting grid with two cars that were 100% Renault, both engine and chassis. Once again, it was a success since, in 2005, Renault became double world champion with Fernando Alonso, a feat that it repeated the following year: a first for a mainline manufacturer.

2010: a ninth Constructors’ world championship title

As well as running vehicles that were 100% Renault, the brand started manufacturing engines once again for other teams. From 2007, it equipped the Red Bull Racing cars. This proved to be a wise decision since, three years on, Renault has claimed its ninth Constructors’ title and its eighth Drivers’ title.