Renault Sport F1 - Engine Test
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Published on Feb 25, 2013
Throughout its history, Renault has incorporated motorsport into its global marketing and technical development strategy. The sport has proven to be an effective testing ground for road car products, with
innovative track solutions for downsizing, reliability and electric technology filtered through to the consumer ranges. With a powerful image and prestige value, motorsport, especially Formula 1, has also strengthened the brand in traditional markets while increasing visibility in emerging ones.
Renault Sport F1 is the sporting division created by Renault to represent its interests in the FIA Formula One World Championship and is tasked with designing and building optimised engines that can be fully integrated into a chassis package created by RSF1's carefully selected partner teams. Present in the sport since 1977, Renault has won 11 Constructors' World Titles and ten Drivers' World Titles in the championship, plus more than 200 pole positions and 150 wins.
The current power plant, the RS27, is a 750bhp V8 engine, in use since 2007. Identical units are supplied to four partner teams; triple world champions Red Bull Racing; Lotus F1 Team, double world champions in 2005 and 2006 when racing as the Renault F1 Team; Caterham F1 Team and Williams F1 Team. In 2012, this quartet scored nine wins and a total of 839 points, with Red Bull Racing securing the double of the Drivers' and Constructors' championship.
The main thrust of RSF1's work takes place at Viry-Châtillon, France, which has traditionally been the technical hub of Renault's F1 activities.
RENAULT'S F1 HISTORY
Renault has competed in Grand Prix racing for over 35 years and has enjoyed success as both an engine supplier and constructor.
The journey started when Amédée Gordini, who had created Grand Prix cars under his own name, was recruited to design high performance cars for Renault.
The Dauphine Gordini appeared in 1957 and it was followed by further high performance cars including the R8 Gordini and the R12 and R17. Gordini also took the Renault name to Le Mans.
Gordini's facilities in Paris proved to be too small for the ambitious
project, so a new building outside the city was sought. The ideal location was found at Viry-Châtillon, on the edge of the A6 motorway leading from Paris to the south of France. The Gordini facility was inaugurated on 6 February 1969 and it was to be the launch pad for motor sport success over the following decades.
The initial focus was on a new 2-litre V6 engine, which was officially launched in January 1973. The engine soon proved to be competitive in the prestigious European 2-litre sportscar series. That was followed by a move into the FIA World Sportscar Championship with a turbocharged version of the engine. Gerard Larrousse and Jean-Pierre Jabouille duly scored a historic first WSC win for the marque at Mugello in 1975.
Renault Sport was founded in 1976. That year saw the birth of a parallel single-seater programme with the V6 engine in European F2. Jean-Pierre Jabouille won the F2 title in 1976, and Rene Arnoux repeated the success the following year. Patrick Tambay and Didier Pironi also won races with the Renault engine.
In sportscars the turbocharged Renaults proved to be incredibly fast, securing a string of poles and fastest laps, but bad luck robbed the team of good results. The main goal was of course the Le Mans 24 Hours. Jabouille took pole in both 1976 and '77, but success eluded the works team, although a Renault-engined Mirage took second place in the latter year.
Everything came together in 1978 when Pironi and Jean-Pierre Jaussaud scored a historic victory, with another Renault coming home fourth. With Le Mans success finally secured, Renault could now focus on its other goal -- Formula One.
The option to run a turbocharged engine had been in the rules for many years, but nobody had dared to pursue it until Renault. It had quietly begun track testing with a 1.5-litre version of the turbo engine in 1976, and a short programme of races was scheduled for the following year.
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