Renault is set to make a comeback to the pinnacle of motorsport – Formula One – after a hiatus of five years. The French car maker will compete as a factory team for the 2016 drivers’ and constructors’ championships. For the 2016 season, Renault will acquire the Lotus F1 team; negotiations for which are near finalisation.
Renault pulled out of Formula One as a factory team in 2010 but continued to supply engines to F1 teams like Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Lotus. F1 championships were won consecutively from 2010 to 2013 by Renault V8 powered cars. With the new regulations coming in and Mercedes getting the V6 setup spot on, the new Renault engines were the only ones who came anywhere close to German powertrains. Renault will continue providing powertrains to other Formula One teams.
Renault’s 40 years of experience in motorsport with 600 race-starts, 12 Drivers’ and 11 Constructors’ championships should help get the ailing Lotus F1 team together. Renault will continue with the services of Pastor Maldonado and will field former GP2 champion Joylon Palmer as team drivers, further details of which will be released by January 2016. Carlos Ghosn, chairman and CEO Renault, said that though it will take time to be competitive for the season that will commence in Australia in March 2016, Renault aims to get back to winning ways at the earliest.