Does 12 time Constructor's champion win and over 40 years of experience in Formula 1 count as iconic? If yes, Renault is indeed an iconic brand in the popular F1 series. Being involved as an engine provider to many F1 teams over the years, Renault now wishes to return as a full-time time. And, if the reports are to be believed, Renault has completed acquisition of the Lotus team.
Renault no longer wishes to merely be an engine supplier and wishes to run a full-fledged F1 team from the next season. In the process, Renault has said to sign a deal with Lotus as a constructor. While the terms of the deal are being worked out, it's confirmed that Lotus, will be re-acquired by Renault, who used to own the same operations 10 years back.
The French manufacturer supplied engine not only to the 4-time world champion Red Bull from 2010-2013, but also to many other champions over the years. Renault started its stint as a constructor way back in 1977, before quitting the operation as the original Équipe Renault Elf in 1985. Renault continued to power teams like Lotus, Ligier, and Tyrrell for another season.
Lotus then took a break for four years before starting again as an engine supplier for Williams in 1989. The successful combo won championship titles with the likes of Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, and Damon Hill behind the wheel. While Benetton, who used to be powered by Renault switched to Ford, the company got associated with Lotus again in 1995.
The partnership worked for several years with many title wins and then Renault decided to buy out the team. Fernando Alonso won a couple of titles for the duo between 2002 and 2011 and then Renault again sold the operations to Genii Capital. While Lotus switched to Mercedes engines, Renault supplied engines to world champion Red Bull.
By 2014, a rift between both the companies arrived and the arrival of the new turbo hybrid was a major reason. With Red Bull looking for new partners for the 2016 season, Renault had little options but to look for an option. And now, with the history repeating, Renault will again take over Lotus, which will see Lotus name disappear again to make way for team Renault.
"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.
With this move, Renault will join prominent names like Ferrari and Mercedes who manufacturers engines as well as run a team! We hope that team Renault perform well in the coming 2016 season and you can watch this space for all the updates. Meanwhile, click here to check our comprehensive coverage of the 2015 F1 season.