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.