Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of Renault, has decided that Renault will return to Formula 1 with its own team for 2016 season. Renault, 12-time Constructors’ Champion with nearly 40 years in the sport, is an iconic brand in Formula 1 and intends to play an active role in the sport’s development.
Following the September announcement of the signing of a Letter of Intent with Lotus, teams at Renault continued to evaluate the possibility of a return to Formula 1. Particular attention was paid to competing successfully with its own team in a financially sound way starting in 2016.
Renault had two options: to come back at 100 percent or leave. After a detailed study, I have decided that Renault will be in Formula 1, starting 2016. The final details supplied by F1’s main stakeholders gave us the confidence to accept this new challenge. Our ambition is to win—even if it will take some time.—Carlos Ghosn
As a full team, Renault will take maximum benefit from its victories. The payback as an engine supplier proved to be limited. The return on the investment necessitated by the new engine regulations and the return in terms of image were low.
Work continues on finalizing the terms of the acquisition of the Lotus F1 Team in the shortest timeframe possible. The principal contracts were signed on 3 December 2015. The Lotus F1 Team effectively stands out as the best partner for Renault, the company said. Renault and Lotus F1 have known each other for 15 years and were world champions together in 2005 and 2006.
Renault has had uninterrupted involvement in Formula 1 for almost 40 years. In 1977, it introduced turbocharging, a technique that soon became the norm in the sport. Renault has since taken part in more than 600 grand prix, claiming 168 race wins, 12 Constructors’ titles and 11 Drivers’ crowns.
Renault’s decision to continue its involvement in Formula 1 is confirmation that it sees motorsport as an essential part of the brand’s identity.
The company said that Formula 1 is a means for it to accelerate development and remain at the forefront of the sport’s technological progress. It simultaneously allows Renault to build bridges between the advanced technologies seen in the world championship and its road cars, particularly in the fields of electric and hybrid vehicles. Consistent with its commitment to F1, Renault will develop its R.S. range by stepping up investment in order to be active on every continent and in even more segments with vehicles that meet the needs of their different markets.
Renault will provide more detailed information about Renault’s F1 program in January, ahead of the 2016 championship that begins next March.