Renault F1 has been connected with Formula 1 as both constructor and engine supplier since 1977. In 1977, it entered Formula One as a constructor, introducing the turbo engine to Formula 1 in its first car, the Renault RS01. In 1983, Renault F1 began supplying engines to other teams. Although the team constantly won races and even competed for world titles, it withdrew at the end of 1985. Renault F1 continued to provide engines to other teams until 1986, then again from 1989 to 1997 and at various other times since then until the present.
Renault F1 returned to Formula One in 2000 when it acquired the Benetton team. In 2002 Renault re-branded the team as Renault F1 Team and started to use Renault as their constructor name. The team won both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships in 2005 and 2006 with Fernando Alonso. As an engine supplier, Renault F1 has contributed to nine other World Drivers’ Championships. It has collected over 160 wins as an engine supplier, ranking fourth in Formula 1 history. The team performed pretty ordinarily in the 2019 season. The car had reliability issues and had a poor aerodynamic performance. It finished 5th in the Constructors’ Championship in 2019.
The team recently announced that it is unveiling its car on the 12th of February 2020. Renault F1 has signed Esteban Ocon in the place of Nico Hulkenberg who is set to drive with Daniel Ricciardo in the 2020 season.
Recently the team’s PU department head, Remi Taffin said that he is confident that only Ferrari F1 is ahead of Renault F1 in terms of engine performance. In addition to this, he also said that both Mercedes F1 and Honda’s power units are behind Renault’s.
“We are in a close battle with Mercedes and Ferrari in engine performance. Mercedes is a bit behind us, Ferrari a bit ahead. Honda is one step behind. But today we are no longer talking about differences of 50 kilowatts. With Ferrari, Mercedes and us there is between five and ten kilowatts. At Honda, it’s maybe 15 or 20 kilowatts behind” Remi Taffin Said.
In recent times Renault’s engines have not been able to perform up to the mark. The team is the engine supplier for McLaren. The MGU-K failure in Carlos Sainz’s McLaren was followed by issues for both Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo in Bahrain.
The claims of Remi Taffin seems to be far from reality. It will be astonishing to see if they can compete with the top 3 teams keeping in mind that they were beaten by McLaren F1 to whom they themselves provide the engine.