Formula 1 is at a standstill and where you might think that this saves teams a lot of money, it actually costs...
Renault F1 team
Renault F1 team
Renault entered Formula 1 again in 2016 with its own factory team. After three years of building up on the sidelines, Renault returned to the grid. They started to make progress with a ‘best of the rest’ finish in 2018. But that wasn’t backed up after being leapfrogged by McLaren in 2019.
|Team Name||Renault F1 team|
|Team Leader||Cyril Abiteboul|
|Technical Leader||Bob Bell|
Who will be driving for Renault in Formula 1?
In 2018 Renault pulled off a stunt by pulling in Daniel Ricciardo's talents and now Esteban Ocon is brought in. Ricciardo is an experienced driver who has proven himself as a driver at Red Bull Racing and a great talent who has come so far in the sport without finance. Meanwhile Ocon has come through the Mercedes garage and will be chomping at the bit.
However, the problem is the spot on the grid. The drivers are good enough for a team at the head of the field and Ricciardo is paid for that too, but the car isn't good enough yet. In 2019 the French race team was hit hard by the disappointing performance and the question is whether they can overtake McLaren.
Middle engine without title
Just like the yellow that has been found in Renault's livery in recent seasons, the French team were also at the start of the very first season with the team using the same colour on the car.
The 1.5 litre engine of the Renault-Gordini V6 (including turbo) was the cream of the crop, but even then the reliability of the Renault was lacking. Because of the yellow colours and the amount of smoke that regularly emitted from the car, the first French car was renamed 'the yellow teapot'. An image the race stable still hasn't got rid of.
With the adoption of the Frenchman Alain Prost for the 1981 season, the tide started to turn for Renault. Races are won, podiums are taken, but still the French don't get any higher than second place among the constructors in 1983. Also the last year of Prost at Renault, but not one without some controversy.
Prost is of the opinion that Renault didn't get the maximum out of the car and criticises his bosses on the assembly line. The collaboration reaches boiling point and Prost is thrown out. In 1984 the Frenchman is back on the grid, this time with the McLaren man Niki Lauda.
Exit, return and exit
While many smaller names disappeared from Formula 1 due to money problems, it was also Renault that couldn't keep its head above water. The parent company had to economise, so having an expensive Formula 1 team simply wasn't possible.
For one season, in 1986, Renault tried to survive by taking a step back and only supplying engines to teams on the grid. At the end of the 1986 season that too was over and Renault disappeared from the king's class. Three years later, the French engines are back in Formula 1, but that's all. Until 2000.
In that year the French bought over the Benetton team and renamed it Benetton Renault Sport a year later. Another year later the name Benetton disappeared completely and the Renault F1 Team was back on the grid as it was all those years ago. However, the results were not nearly as good as in the glory years, but that would only be a matter of time.
Fernando Alonso was picked in 2003 and brought a fresh perspective to the team. That year Renault finished fourth (with one victory in Hungary) and one year later it already managed to take third place among the constructors. With Alonso as the driver, both the constructors and the driver's title were taken in 2005 and 2006. After two titles Alonso gave up and moved to McLaren.
One year later Alonso returned, but Renault didn't achieve the results of the previous years again. A constant change of drivers, as has been the case in recent years, didn't improve the situation either.
After Nelson Piquet junior crashed on purpose during the Singapore Grand Prix in 2009 (to give the victory to Alonso), panic also broke out within the team. Flamboyant team boss Flavio Briatore left the team, after which it remained to be seen whether Renault could stay in Formula 1 at all.
That turned out to be the case, but it didn't take long before the situation within the team caused sponsors to leave. A deal of the shares of the team was sold and only the name of Renault (despite the fact that it no longer had any shares in the team) flaunted the car of Lotus Renault GP. One year later, that name also disappeared and the presence of the French manufacturer only remained when supplying engines to other teams.
Return to success
With the success of Red Bull Racing (and the engine of Renault in the back of those cars) and financial problems at Lotus, Renault decided to return as a factory team at the end of 2016. With the young Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer, the French team is starting the painfully slow road back to the top. Three years and a lot of driver changes later, Renault is back at the top of midfield and has two experienced drivers for 2019.
Led by Cyril Abiteboul, Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg (alias De Hulk) must take the next step: bridge the gap with the three-top teams to be able to have a shot at the title in 2021. From a sad ninth place in 2016, a slightly better P6 in 2017 and 'best of the rest' P4 in 2018, Renault's upward trend is obvious. But if the French will be able to take the step in 2019, they’ll have to prove it this season.
However, it is disappointing. Renault falls behind customer team McLaren in the championship and is almost overtaken at the end by Toro Rosso. It's not good enough and Renault know that. In 2020 it wants to retaliate, but also keeps 2021 in mind as the biggest chance for success.
Renault in 2020
It remains to be seen how Ocon will get out of his break, but the qualities of both drivers are beyond dispute.
However, Cyril Abiteboul indicated at the end of 2019 that the team is fully focused on 2021. Where most teams spread their attention and resources, Abiteboul indicated that everything will be focused on 2021. Is this a smokescreen for the competition or do we really have nothing to expect from the French in 2020?
What kind of engine does Renault drive in Formula 1?
As a factory team, Renault makes the engine itself, which is then sold to other teams on the grid. The collaboration with Red Bull Racing has come to an end in 2019, so the hybrid V6 will only be found in the cars of Renault and McLaren. Both racetracks have the same fuel supplier, BP/Castrol.
Renault F1 team News
F1 engine manufacturers also close their doors
The summer break has been brought forward because of the coronavirus, so the time in August can be used to have...
Ricciardo remembers: "Sent Abiteboul a long e-mail with points for improvement"
Daniel Ricciardo is preparing for his second season at Renault. Last year the former Red Bull Racing driver ended...
Ricciardo doesn't give up hope: "Renault has a 'shoey' in it"
Daniel Ricciardo doesn't know yet what his plans are for 2021 and beyond. The driver is currently racing for Renault,...
Ricciardo after cancellation Melbourne: "I called Max to ask what his plans were"
The decision to cancel the Australian Grand Prix came at the very last moment. According to Daniel Ricciardo the...
Ocon and his unusual hobby: "It's my second passion!"
In this long period without Formula 1, drivers are finding different ways to kill time, but Esteban Ocon has a...
Ocon: "Never felt better going into a racing season"
Esteban Ocon will have to wait even longer for his official return to the grid, but in the meantime, the Frenchman...
Abiteboul: "We cannot hide anymore in 2022''
Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul knows his team needs to fight for podiums when the new regulation will go into...
Abiteboul doesn't understand speculation about Renault: "Wonder why that is"
According to many, the future of Renault in Formula 1 would be uncertain. Performance on the track is poor and...
Abiteboul: "We've received a lot of criticism because of that"
Until the 2017/2018 season, Renault drove as a factory team in Formula E. Sports director of Renault Cyril Abiteboul...
Tost about possible foul play: 'The FIA can retrieve images from the wind tunnel'
Formula 1 teams are not allowed to modify the chassis for 2020 and 2021. Formula 1 has done this in order to keep...
Cancellation of Monaco Grand Prix "hurts" Ricciardo
For the first time since 1954 there will be no Grand Prix in Monaco this year, as it has been officially cancelled....
Mercedes test driver 2019 knew nothing about development DAS system
Esteban Ocon worked closely with Mercedes during the development of the Mercedes W10 in 2019. The Frenchman had...
'Regulations moving to 2022 won't affect F1 free agent market'
Renault star Daniel Ricciardo is convinced the technical regulation changes moving to 2022 will not have major...
Renault wouldn't rule out signing Vettel if Ricciardo leaves!
Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul says that the team would not turn down the opportunity to sign Sebastian Vettel if...
Team members from Renault are quarantined: factory not yet locked
Renault are now back in Europe. The factory remains open, but the French team have announced that all personnel...
Ricciardo feels he’s “due a good one” in Melbourne this year
Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo is yet to officially finish on the podium at his home race and feels he’s...
'Title sponsor could help Renault stay in F1 long-term'
Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul said getting a title sponsor on board could help to secure the French works...
Possible protest from Renault against the Racing Point car
The new car from Racing Point looks very similar to last year 's Mercedes, so much so...
- Load more articles