Constructors Who Have Won in F1 - Renault


Valued Member

Renault (35)

Renault came into Formula One in 1977 with a turbo engine and Jean-Pierre Jabouille. They retired from their 4 attempts that year, and were almost equally unreliable in 1978. Their pace improved as evidenced by a couple of second row starts, and Jabouille scored the first pole for the two car Renault team in Kyalami in 1979. Despite a few poles that year, their first victory came, of course, at Dijon with Jabouille winning and René Arnoux third.

1980's car saw their turbo revolution continue apace. There were still more retirements than preferable. Only two cars reached the line in the first three races, but both were winners in the hands of Arnoux in Brazil and South Africa, from Jabouille's poles. However, it was to be towards the end of the season, in Austria, when they won again, this time Arnoux on pole and Jabouille the winner. Arnoux would finish 2nd and 10th from pole in the next two races, but an injury to Jabouille marked the end of his Renault career.

In came Alain Prost. The first 7 races of 1981 were a familiar story of unfulfilled potential, until 6 consecutive Renault poles. Prost won at Dijon, Zandvoort and Monza (with Zandvoort from his pole and the other two from Arnoux) and was second from pole at the Osterreichring and the Nurburgring. Renault took 3rd in the Constructors' Championship, with Prost 5th in the Drivers'. Stable into 1982, Prost won the first two races in Kyalami and Jacarepagua, but despite qualifying well that would be it for a while. There were numerous retirements, including a double retirement at Imola when Ferrari were the only competitive opposition! Thus they'd scored a single point between Prost's win at Jacarepagua and Arnoux victory at Paul Ricard (in a one-two), with a full 8 races in between. Prost was runner-up at Dijon and Arnoux was the winner at Monza, but they were 3rd in the Constructors' Championship. Their fast car was just not reliable.

Eddie Cheever joined Prost for 1983. Two no scores were followed by a one-three at Paul Ricard with Prost winning. But there were 2 podiums without wins for the yellow cars in two races before Prost took the laurels at Spa, and another podium before victory at Silverstone. A victory at the Osterreichring gave Prost a Championship lead, but three retirements in the last four let him down, and he was off to McLaren. Renault stuttered on. Patrick Tambay took their traditional pole at Dijon, but that was their only pole of 1984 and they remained unreliable. There were a couple of podiums in 1985, but at the end of the season, Renault became an engine supplier.

Benetton were brought in 2000 by Renault, but Renault took control of the team for 2002. Jarno Trulli and Jenson Button delivered a 4th place in the Championship, before Button was unceremoniously booted out for a Flavio Briatore managed driver. Fernando Alonso. The young Spaniard was on pole in his second race for Renault in Sepang, and was narrowly defeated by Michael Schumacher at home in Barcelona. Then, after an update, he took his first win from pole in Budapest. Ferrari were to dominate 2004, with Michael Schumacher winning 12 of the first 13 races. The other, in Monaco, saw Jarno Trulli edge out BAR's Button from pole and he probably would have won without Schumacher's Safety Car brain fade. Renault just lost out to BAR in the race for second in the Championship, Alonso finishing 4th. Trulli's form was particularly poor from France onwards, and he was thrown out of the team in favour of the unimpressive Jacques Villeneuve for the last three races.

In came Giancarlo Fisichella to support Alonso for 2005. A rainstorm left Fisi on pole in Melbourne, where he dominated, with Alonso taking 3rd after a fight. The Spaniard won the next three races in Sepang, Sakhir and Imola. He would then win the 7th race at the Nurburgring after Kimi Raikkonen's McLaren suffered tyre failure, thus robbing him of a hat-trick. A double retirement in Canada was followed by a Michelin no show in America, so Alonso's victory at Magny-Cours was crucial. McLaren were by now the faster car, but in a neat reversal of the 70s, it was their engine that continued to play up, costing Raikkonen his title chase. Alonso won in Germany from such a situation, then calmly picked up podiums for the rest of the season until he'd accrued enough points at Interlagos to celebrate. He won the last race of the season in Shanghai to secure the Constructors' Championship.

Alonso started 2006 by outracing Ferrari in Sakhir. He finished second to his team-mate at Sepang and then won in Melbourne. Schumacher took a couple of wins before four consecutive wins from pole at Montmelo, Monte Carlo, Silverstone and Montreal. Again, Alonso had a points lead to defend as Ferrari became faster, particularly after the mass damper system Renault had perfected was banned. Schumacher won the next three races, but fortune would help the Spaniard. The Hungarian rain ensured, after many penalties, that Schumacher could only pick up 1 point with Alonso retiring. He got between the Ferraris in Istanbul; Massa's win irrelevant, he beat Schumacher. However, his engine failure in Schumi's tifosi goodbye party at Monza seemed destructive, especially when he was out raced by the German in the Chinese rain. However, Schumi's luck was out. His engine failure in Suzuka gifted Alonso a win and meant Schumacher needed to win the Brazillian Grand Prix with Alonso not finishing to take the Championship. A scintillating drive from the German from the rear would never have dislodged Alonso from the points, and both Championships were Renault's again!

Alonso was off to McLaren though, and for 2007 their team of Fisichella and rookie Heikki Kovalainen never came close to competing with McLaren or Ferrari, with BMW also generally ahead. Their only podium was for Kovalainen, runner-up in the wet in Japan. However, Alonso's disputes with McLaren brought him back for 2008-09 before a seat at Ferrari could be warmed up. A poor first 14 races were changed by downright cheating from Nelsinho Piquet in Singapore, gifting Alonso a win that admittedly he did well to convert. He followed up by taking advantage of Lewis Hamilton's start line buffonery in Fuji to win that race too.

Despite Robert Kubica's sterling efforts in 2010, that remains Renault's last win.
The first incarnation of the Renault team were one of my favourites growing up. That they never managed to win a title, given how quick their cars were, is one of F1's great mysteries, and yet also fitting in a way.
Renault.Fascinating company.Started in car manufacturing by building and racing their own cars.Louis and Marcel were both keen racers way back in 1899.
The company built its reputation on racing victories until 1903, when Marcel Renault drove into a tree and was killed instantly while competing in a race from Paris to Madrid. After that tragedy the company abandoned racing, and focused on mass production of vehicles.
It's a shame that the Renault will be remembered (2002-2009) as much for the 2008 scandal as their 2005 and 2006 championships
It's a shame that the Renault will be remembered (2002-2009) as much for the 2008 scandal as their 2005 and 2006 championships

Live by the Flav, die by the Flav!

The first incarnation of the Renault team were one of my favourites growing up. That they never managed to win a title, given how quick their cars were, is one of F1's great mysteries, and yet also fitting in a way.

It is wonderfully fitting that it was an unreliable engine that gave Renault their first championship in 2005, in my opinion!
Top Bottom