Official: Renault announces its Formula 1 return in 2016

Article by Christian A., on December 8, 2015

In September, we were made privy to a Letter of Intent between Lotus and Renault where they continued to court the possibility of a return to Formula 1. A particular area for consideration was whether Renault could financially afford to compete with its own team in 2016.

The Chairman and CEO for Renault, Carlos Ghosn, had to decide whether Renault was in or out of Formula 1. After commissioning studies into the financial viability of the proposed project and in conjunction with Formula 1’s main stakeholders, Mr Ghosn decided to commit Renault to the forthcoming season.

Being only too aware of the challenges they face he stated, “Our ambition is to win- even if it will take some time.” With a full team, Renault intends to maximise on its victories. The anticipated benefits of being an engine supplier did not occur and the investment resulted in compliance with new engine regulations.

Renault is still ironing out the final acquisition terms for the Lotus F1 team in as short a period as possible. The main contracts were signed on December 3, 2015. Renault is confident they have selected the most appropriate partner to breed success. Renault and Lotus have supported each other for over 15 years and have celebrated success in 2005 and 2006 as world champion joint partners.

Renault is an experienced contender in Formula 1. It first competed in 1977, almost four decades ago. It dramatically changed the championship when it introduced its new technology – turbocharging, which changed the face of Formula 1 from that point onwards. In a total of 600 Grand Prix entries, Renault has won 168 races, gained 12 Constructors’ Titles and 11 Drivers Crowns.

The fact that Renault remains determined to be an active presence in Formula 1 is a testament to how it associates F1 with its public image. Renault goes by the line ‘Passion for Life’. Formula 1 exudes passion on a global scale.

It also inspires Renault’s Technical Team where they can be free to demonstrate their advanced expertise and impress their customers. Renault likes to combine the world of Formula 1 with the development of car technical advancement. It has shown a particular interest in hybrid and electrical vehicles. It is developing its R.S range by enhancing investment in every continent but more importantly, it looks to the demands of individual markets and tries to satisfy customer needs.

With over 450 million people watching Formula 1 annually, Renault is only too aware of the exposure being in Formula 1 brings, not to mention the extensive media coverage across five continents. The opportunity for growth and expansion is endless and Renault intends to take full advantage of this.

Press Release


  • Carlos Ghosn announces his decision that Renault will return to Formula 1 with its own team for 2016 season.
  • Renault, 12-time Constructor’s 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.
  • F1 is a technology showcase and accelerates development of the Renault’s innovation and range of sports cars.

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,” said Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO, Renault.

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 December 3, 2015. The Lotus F1 Team effectively stands out as the best partner. 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 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.

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. Formula 1 is the ultimate symbol of the passion for automobiles. Passion is defines Renault as expressed by its brand signature, ‘Passion for Life’. In addition to attracting many customers, Formula 1 also fuels employee motivation. As the pinnacle of motor sports, Formula 1 demands technological and operational excellence. The championship serves as a showcase for the technological expertise that Renault dials into its products for the benefit of its customers.

Formula 1 is a means for Renault 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.

Formula 1 serves to promote awareness of the Renault brand and its image in all its markets across the world. Formula 1 is one of the sports that enjoys the most media coverage worldwide thanks to a following on five continents, particulary in emerging markets. It attracts 450 million television viewers annually and Its scope for growth is enormous thanks to opportunities founded on new technologies, social networks, video games, etc. that have yet to be fully exploited.

In January, we will provide more detailed information about Renault’s F1 programme ahead of the 2016 championship that begins next March.

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Topics: renault, formula 1



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