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.

2011

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.
 

Vortex

Race Winner
It is a farce tho, I think both teams have lost, and the (modern) Lotus name spoilt too.

Why would the green team want to race under a rivals name? if they succeed in F1 they’re only helping sell Lotus cars for Proton, and promoting their brand not their own, it’s a shame I really like the green team.

Same with Renault, why change to Lotus after all the mess, name it proton, they will sell a lot more protons if proton was a huge success if F1 then they will sell Louses.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Its a bit of an odd situation but despite calling themselves Renault...going forward Red Bull having recently got a 5 year deal and a controlling stake from Nissan Infiniti will be considered the official factory Renault team

Renault sport have changed their stance apparently from originally suggesting they only want to supply two teams in 2014 which seems to favour Red Bull plus probably Williams

But the latest statement was they would be happy to supply to more teams to make it more cost efficient
 

ExtremeNinja

Karting amateur
Contributor
It is a farce tho, I think both teams have lost, and the (modern) Lotus name spoilt too.

Why would the green team want to race under a rivals name? if they succeed in F1 they’re only helping sell Lotus cars for Proton, and promoting their brand not their own, it’s a shame I really like the green team.

Same with Renault, why change to Lotus after all the mess, name it proton, they will sell a lot more protons if proton was a huge success if F1 then they will sell Louses.

Hmm. Not sure I get you.

Green Lotus are going to be called Caterham which promoites thier Caterham brand of road car. Win!

Black Lotus wouldn't call themselves Proton for the same reason that Ferrari wouldn't call themselves Fiat.
 

Vortex

Race Winner
They are now yes, but they brought back and fought to use the name Lotus, they lost out because of that, the money they spent and time and effort used and publicity they’ve given of a rival companies brand. After all the effort to fight to keep the rights to use the name… why would they want to? They wouldn’t is the answer and they wont.
Now Fernendes is not ‘friends’ with Proton they’d only be promoting Lotus cars for Proton so it would be silly for them to keep using the name, changing to Caterham is a good idea as it promotes his own company interests even tho out of the two I think the green team deserve to use the name more (just my preference and opinion).

I bet with hindsight they wish they’d bought and entered as Caterham from the very start in 2010.
 

Road of Bones

MTC Mole
Contributor
It's because Dany Bahar wants to re-align modern Lotus Road-cars as competitors to Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lamborghini etc. In order to do that, he bought into an existing F1 team on a downslope after Crashgate, and is busily re-branding them to be the "new Lotus" poster-boys. Tony Fernandes starting his "Team Lotus" from scratch a year early simply wasn't in his game-plan, hence the protracted legal dispute (which Fernandes actually won), that has resulted in the current naming mess. With Fernandes deciding to re-badge his team as "Caterham", he's actually taken the sensible option - even if his version of Lotus was more in keeping with the original Chapman spirit than Bahar's.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
It's because Dany Bahar wants to re-align modern Lotus Road-cars as competitors to Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lamborghini etc. In order to do that, he bought into an existing F1 team on a downslope after Crashgate, and is busily re-branding them to be the "new Lotus" poster-boys. Tony Fernandes starting his "Team Lotus" from scratch a year early simply wasn't in his game-plan, hence the protracted legal dispute (which Fernandes actually won), that has resulted in the current naming mess. With Fernandes deciding to re-badge his team as "Caterham", he's actually taken the sensible option - even if his version of Lotus was more in keeping with the original Chapman spirit than Bahar's.

Partly because he's got other interests in running QPR now in the Premier league but also the Malaysian government got involved and don't want to get embroiled into a mess with one of its national companies and would only support Fernandes Air Asia airline if he manages to stop the squabbling

A bit of politics and money won the day for Fernandes which is disappointing given the following traditionalists had last year hoping to see the name Lotus revived to its former glory.

I can see Dany Bahar making a real mess of this idea trying to market the Lotus name using car manufacturers leverage...I guess he has not been following F1 recently to see that Toyota, BMW and Honda all quit because they did not want to throw more money down the toilet to finish 7th or 8th or lower.

I'd be surprised if Proton stick around 5 years or so..for a start they are getting rid of all of the old Benetton/ Renault engineers...so makes you wonder what their ulterior motive is
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Changing the subject - Grosjean has become official reserve driver for rest of the season and has a day testing

http://en.espnf1.com/renault/motorsport/story/59069.html?CMP=OTC-RSS

They're giving him a lot of time - seems more and more likely to me he might get a drive next year

My suspicion is Grosjean will actually join Williams not Renault given Petrov has the money and sponsors whilst they are holding out for Kubica or otherwise use Senna because of the name and the history with the JPS Lotus Renault
 

Josh

Champion Elect
http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/94887

James Allison says the forward facing exhaust has actually hurt them. It's basically hard to develop, tricky to generate the downforce that it's supposed to generate and that it has caused them to struggle in low speed corners and races (like Singapore).

They're going back to a more conventional set up for next year - does this mean that they have to design an entirely new car?
He also says they have been working on next year's car since January, which seems a bit early to me.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/94887

James Allison says the forward facing exhaust has actually hurt them. It's basically hard to develop, tricky to generate the downforce that it's supposed to generate and that it has caused them to struggle in low speed corners and races (like Singapore).

They're going back to a more conventional set up for next year - does this mean that they have to design an entirely new car?
He also says they have been working on next year's car since January, which seems a bit early to me.

I briefly read this today and I remember how everyone was impressed with the system given its pre season testing form. I think its more to do with internal management issues...a lot of engineers leaving and Proton / Dany Bahar keeping their cards close to them about the long term plans...so its a lot of uncertainty and the development is not there compared to the top 4 teams

I think if Kubica was in the car he might have put the car where it should not have been like last year.

The development of the car since January seems strange to do unless Proton wanted a clean slate as "Lotus"
 

Slyboogy

World Champion
Contributor
Or it could be that Bob Bell left?

I too also think the problem lies with the front facing exhausts, how much can you develop it? The front running teams have developed their exhaust systems this season massively, unfortunately for Renault they got the jump at the start on most teams, but now everyone's caught up and past them.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Basically the old Benetton/Renault stalwarts at Enstone like Bob Bell have all left the team. These are very good and experienced engineers which are very hard to replace:unsure: What Proton's long term plans are in F1?
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Basically the old Benetton/Renault stalwarts at Enstone like Bob Bell have all left the team. These are very good and experienced engineers which are very hard to replace:unsure: What Proton's long term plans are in F1?

Or to put it more simply, "What's Proton's long term plans?"

The company have been living hand to mouth for years and only survive on frequent cash injections from the Malay government. Most of the time the board of Proton read like a whose who of ex Malay government ministers and officials. It's widely accepted in the motoring industry that Group Lotus have nowhere near enough cash to complete all the plans that Bahar has set out for them (these include 6 new models in 3 years, a return to Le Man, a full F1 programme and a full (almost) works IRL car. I believe Proton think that Bahar is there to make the company attractive to future buyers while I also believe that Bahar thinks he's the new Enzo Ferrari. Either way, I can see it all ended up in a huge mess for Group Lotus with the very real potential that within 5 years the whole company could be gone.
 

Slyboogy

World Champion
Contributor
I don't have credible source for this but Renault are considering Rubens Barrichello

The best drives available, on paper at least, are with the Lotus Renault GP team, or whatever it is called next year. At the moment we have Vitaly Petrov and Bruno Senna in the cars, but Kubica is waiting in the wings and Romain Grosjean is hoping for a chance. At the same time the team is thought to be considering the case of Rubens Barrichello, as it wants to have at least one driver with F1 experience. Barrichello has a value in that he has worked in top teams for many years and is famous for his technical skills. Having said that, Lotus Renault GP is terrified that hiring Barrichello would be a repeat of its less than successful relationship with Nick Heidfeld, who failed to step up and lead the team as had been hoped, after Kubica’s accident. Much depends on the funding for the team as Petrov is useful for Russian government money; Senna has great connections in Brazil and Grosjean could be the key to French government money, although this last scenario seems to be fading fast at the moment. The team says that it does not need pay-drivers, but until it goes out and hires drivers on talent alone, no-one is going to believe that argument.

Link - http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2011/10/04/the-silly-season-as-of-now/
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Hang on. I'm sure I remember a month or so back having a discussion on Renault drivers and someone saying Rubens would be a driver to consider due to his experience

The source for the story wouldn't be Clip The Apex would it?

#Edit# - I'm right! it was me actually on this thread post #22 - either great minds collide, the sites being used for information or I'm secretly Danny Bahar
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Or to put it more simply, "What's Proton's long term plans?"

The company have been living hand to mouth for years and only survive on frequent cash injections from the Malay government. Most of the time the board of Proton read like a whose who of ex Malay government ministers and officials. It's widely accepted in the motoring industry that Group Lotus have nowhere near enough cash to complete all the plans that Bahar has set out for them (these include 6 new models in 3 years, a return to Le Man, a full F1 programme and a full (almost) works IRL car. I believe Proton think that Bahar is there to make the company attractive to future buyers while I also believe that Bahar thinks he's the new Enzo Ferrari. Either way, I can see it all ended up in a huge mess for Group Lotus with the very real potential that within 5 years the whole company could be gone.

I am dreading this because the team has been messed up enough by Flavio and now Bahar comes along lacking originality and simply offering a cheap imititation to a legendary name of F1 which he will bring more shame. He's spent this year losing an argument .

I will laugh that Bahar will fail but a tinge of sadness that the great name Lotus is being abused.
 
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