Following the September announcement of the signing of a Letter of Intent with Lotus, Renault has confirmed that it is to return as a factory team from the 2016 season onwards.
“Renault had two options: to come back at 100% or leave,” explained Carlos Ghosn, chairman and CEO, Renault. “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.”
The team has stated that it is set to benefit financially as a full team, as ‘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. The principal contracts were signed yesterday (December 3, 2015). Renault has had uninterrupted involvement in Formula 1 for almost 40 years.
In 1977, it revolutionised the championship with the introduction of 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.