Renault returns to F1

Renault returns to F1

Renault will return to Formula 1 as a full works manufacturer in 2016 following its buyout of the struggling Lotus team.

While Renault has had a continual presence as an engine supplier, most notably with Red Bull Racing, this marks its first entry as a constructor since 2009.

Ironically, this latest takover will result in Renault buying back the team it originally sold to Genii Capital following its 2009 pull-out.

Renault -F1-return -2012A letter of intent was signed in September as Renault investigated the viability of returning to F1. "Renault had two options: come back at 100 per cent or leave" explained Renault Chairman and CEO, Carlos Ghosn.

"After a detailed study, I have decided that Renault will be in Formula 1...our ambition is to win, even if it will take some time."

Renault has enjoyed considerable success as an engine supplier, most notably four straight titles with Red Bull Racing, however it discovered that the benefit it received from such victories was limited.

Renault -F1-return -2006Conversely, the torrent of negative publicity generated by its recent struggles with F1's hybrid powertrains - a direction it pushed extremely hard for prior to their 2014 adoption - has led it to decide that it's better to win or lose on its own terms. 

Renault has a mountain to climb in order to catch up to Mercedes and Ferrari, 2015 marking the first season since 2007 a Renault-engined car has failed to win a race.

The 2016 F1 season kicks off in Melbourne on March 20.

Get your free weekly report from the world of fast cars - subscribe to the MOTOR newsletter!