Current Renault

Lotus Renault GP

FIA Entry: Renault F1
Car 9: Nick Heidfeld
Car 10: Vitaly Petrov
Engine: Renault V8
Team Principal: Eric Boullier
Technical Director: James Allison
Race Engineer Car 9: Simon Rennie
Race Engineer Car 10: Ayao Komatsu

Stats at end 2010

First Entered 1977
Races Entered 285
Race Wins 35
Pole Positions 51
Fastest Laps 31
Driver World Championships 2
Constructor World Championships 2

Team History

Renault first entered F1 as a constructor in 1977 at the British Grand Prix. At the height of the “garagiste” and Cosworth engines Renault entered a single car, driven by Jean-Pierre Jabouille, powered by a 1.5 litre turbo charged engine. Renault’s experiment with turbo charging probably changed F1 more than any other single event in the sport’s history.

Jabouille won Renault's first Grand Prix in 1979 in France and, up until their withdrawal as a constructor from the sport in 1985; Renault won 15 Grands Prix. They continued in F1 as an engine manufacturer until in 2002 they returned as a constructor having acquired the Benetton (formerly Toleman) team in 2000.

The “new” Renault Team

For 2002 Renault partnered Jarno Trulli and Jenson Button together and the team managed 4th place in the Constructors Championship. Button was dropped for 2003 in favour of the team’s test driver, Fernando Alonso. Alonso repaid the team’s faith by winning the Hungarian Grand Prix, the first win for a Renault car since 1983.

Jarno Trulli won the Monaco Grand Prix in 2004 but was replaced by Jacques Villeneuve before the end of the season as he and the team principal, Flavio Briatore, fell out amid claims of favouritism toward Alonso.

The Championship Years

Giancarlo Fisichella was brought in to replace Trulli for 2005 and duly won the first race in Australia. Alonso won the next 3 and a total of 7 in the season to win the Drivers World Championship and give Renault the Constructors’ Title they had long waited for; breaking Michael Schumacher 5 year run of driver's titles and and Ferrari's 6 year long strangle hold on the constructors title.

In 2006 the same pattern repeated, Fisichella took a single victory, Alonso 7 along with both the Drivers Championship and the Constructors Title.

Post Alonso (part 1)

Alonso’s departure to McLaren in 2007, replaced by rookie Heikki Kovalainen, left the team without a star driver to build around and the team struggled. Kovalainen outscored his more experienced team mate but a highest finish of 2nd in Japan was the best result on the track. The team finished 3rd in the Constructors Championship but as McLaren were disqualified from the championship in 2007 the result flatters to deceive.

After falling out with McLaren Alonso returned to Renault for 2008. Rebuilding around him, the car slowly improved and Alonso won races in Singapore and Japan. It later transpired that Alonso’s team mate in 2008, Nelson Piquet jnr, had deliberately crashed during the Singapore race with the collusion of team principal Briatore and Technical Director, Pat Symonds. This emerged in 2009 after Piquet was dropped by the team for Roman Grosjean resulting in Briatore and Symonds being banned from the sport and Renault being given a 2 years suspended ban.

2009 was a lean year for Renault. Alonso managed pole in Hungary but otherwise a single 3rd place in Singapore was the best placing the team could muster. The resulting bad publicity surrounding the race fixing allegations resulted in many of Renault’s major sponsors withdrawing finance from the team and put into question Renault’s continuing presence as an F1 team.

Post Alonso (part 2)

Alonso left for Ferrari in 2010 and Robert Kubica took his place, partnered by Russia’s first F1 driver Vitaly Petrov. At this time Renault sold a 75% share of the team to Luxembourg based venture capital company Genii. Renault continued to provide technical support and engines to the team. Kubica managed some podium places through the season whilst Petrov took some time to acclimatise to F1 with a best finish of 5th in Hungary, matching Renault’s finish in the Constructor’s Championship.


For 2011 Renault sold it’s remaining 25% share to Lotus cars resulting in a change of team name to Lotus Renault GP causing a legal battle with Team Lotus as to who had the rights to use the name Lotus in F1. Renault will also race under a British licence this season leaving F1 without a French team for the first time since 1975.

Renault planned to retain the same driver line up but Kubica crashed in a rally car prior to pre-season testing and has been replaced by former team mate Nick Heidfeld. They will use the R31 chassis.


Di Resta fan :).
Renault have a very tough choice to make. Lose faith and hope in Kubica returning to F1 next season. Or go for Petrov with one of either Senna or Grosjean and TBH i wouldn't want to be in the Renault bosses position to decide that.


Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
I def take into account what you said G about them losing all their experienced hands - it must have had a massive knock on effect. What they need at a time like this is a talented driver who can lead a team and steady the ship whilst they recover. Last year they had that with Kubica but this year its shown that they're struggling in that department. They took a gamble on Heidfeld being able to do it and it didn't work out.

Now Kubica could be back next year like nothings ever happened next season and Renault would be fine but its a risk because he might come back and need some time to readjust or he might not come back the driver he was.

Petrov certainly hasn't shown himself as a team leader. I'm not too sure on Senna or Grosjean and as they're relatively new to F1 you can't really expect them to lead a team.

I never thought I'd suggest this but would Renault maybe benifit from bringing in Rubens Barrichello in the second seat? He has the experience in developng cars and the knowledge to lead a team even if he's not getting the results which would make him the perfect back up whilst Kubica got back on his feet in F1 - or if they were bedding in a new F1 driver like Grosjean. Might seem a silly suggestion but could be what they need.


Not a Moderator
Valued Member
I agree, but isn't that what Heidfeld was supposed to be?

Regardless, it seems that an experienced driver is a luxury Williams are struggling to afford, and perhaps Genii are in the same position now. It's hard to see them starting with Petrov/Senna or Petrov/Grosjean next season, but October seems to me to be a very challenging deadline for Kubica to prove his recovery is complete.


🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Considering his last operation was just a few weeks ago, I would say it's impossible to make an assessment within the next 4 weeks.

However, it's obvious they can't hang on until next February to make a decision with the risk that all the remaining decent drivers are no longer available, so I understand why they are keen to finalise their line up for next year as soon as possible.


Di Resta fan :).
Personally i think if Renault aren't perpared to gamble on Kubica then for me it has to be Petrov and Senna in the seat for next season. Cause i can see Grosjean getting a seat at Williams cause aren't Renault join forces with them next season?


Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
True - I'm just wondering if Rubens, who has a better track record, would do a much better job than Not So Quick Nick - plus it might mean they can hang on to some of that new Brazilian sponsorship of theres.

I agree with you on the October deadling for Kubica being too early. If I didn't think it was such a stupid move I'd suggest they were doing it to almost force him to say he's not ready so they can keep Senna and the new sponsorship deals(or pay Kubica's wage for that matter). I could be in tinfoil hat territory though.


Not a Moderator
Valued Member
If I didn't think it was such a stupid move I'd suggest they were doing it to almost force him to say he's not ready so they can keep Senna and the new sponsorship deals(or pay Kubica's wage for that matter). I could be in tinfoil hat territory though.

I don't think you're the first to have that thought.

So far as I know Renault are only supplying Williams on the same basis as Red Bull and Air Asia, so there probably won't be any pressure to take Boullier's favoured drivers. Having said that, of course, anyone with a bundle of euros is on the Grove radar at the moment, it would seem.


Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Speaking of Boullier drivers - with Senna in at Renault and Grosjean winning GP2 its not looking good for d'Ambrosio where F1 is concerned is it? Although I guess if Grosjean and Senna land a race somewhere else and (god forbid) Kubica comes back and decides he's not up too it after a race or 2 he might jump in that Renault seat and be laughing!

Road of Bones

MTC Mole
I can't see Grosjean at Williams for one reason - he doesn't bring any money.

However - would Senna slot into Rubens' seat perhaps? :thinking: Williams do need the money, after all! (and there's always that historical sense of "unfinished business" where Williams/Senna are concerned...)

Renault could then assess Kubica with the safety-cushion of the reigning GP2 champ ready to step up in case he's not fit (and keep all of Petrov's lovely Russo-dollars...) :dunno:


🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Renault are building a new simulator, with the help of McLaren and an ex-Red Bull employee.

The most curious quote in the above article however is this:
Boullier has also said his team is on the verge of extending its engine partnership with Renault, despite having been linked with Cosworth earlier this year.
"We are very close, but I cannot tell you more," he said. "We have a historical relationship, we have a close technical relationship and there is [oil sponsor] Total mixed in the middle of this, so there are some commercial reasons why we should stick with Renault."
Am I the only one who finds it odd that the factory Renault team wouldn't automatically use factory Renault engines?

I guess Red Bull are the de-facto factory team now...


Karting amateur
It's one way around the maximum number of teams which can be supplied I suppose.

Ferrari aren't happy about it though.

Renaults recently penned partnership with Red Bull instates them as the official Renault works team. Next year, I think that Group Lotus will only carry the Renault name as part of the engine supply deal.


Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
Interesting to see that Renault have an agreement with McLaren. In this deal McLaren provide Renault with a design of a windtunnel similar to that of the one in Woking but Renault have to use their own software, Renault have also hired Red Bull's ex head of wind tunnel staff to run it.
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