Posted on June 22, 2013


Renault Sport F1 unveiled its new 2014 F1 engine, dubbed the Energy F1, at an event in Paris on Friday. The timing was rather unfortunate, as the F1 media was on red alert waiting for the announcement of the verdict in the Mercedes Pirelli Tribunal hearing, but the significance of the Renault announcement -particularly the message it contained – is not to be ignored. Following on from Mercedes, which presented its 2014 engine to selected media at the start of the year, Renault pulled the cover off an engine which – it clearly feels – aligns F1 more with the More…

Posted on November 17, 2011


The leading F1 teams are in the thick of an argument at the moment about how much money they should be allowed to spend every year to go racing, with Red Bull out on a limb, taking a different view from other FOTA members about the next phase of the Resource Restriction Agreement. If it all goes wrong, as some predict, this could lead to a new arms race in F1 with Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes able to spend more than McLaren (which no longer has Mercedes factory backing as it did in the last “Arms Race”) and far More…

Posted on September 2, 2011


The Renault team has announced that it has reached an out of court settlement with Nick Heidfeld, who was dropped from the team ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix. Bruno Senna drove in that race. Heidfeld said in Spa that he believed he had a valid contract and that a court hearing would take place after the Italian Grand Prix. But that will now not take place and the team is free to run whomever they choose alongside Vitaly Petrov. It was also said in Spa that the Senna deal was intended to be for the rest of the season. More…

Posted on June 2, 2011


Renault team principal Eric Boullier did an interview in l’Equipe newspaper at the weekend, which contained some interesting lines that did not get wide circulation. They deserve deeper consideration as they appear to hint that some key personnel changes are imminent. Under the headline “We miss Robert,” the 37 year old Boullier starts out by saying that the team lacks race management and points to Robert Kubica’s leadership qualities as something that are sorely missing, “Robert put himself in a leadership role,” he says. “He’s a demanding driver, who knows what he can deliver and what he wants from the More…

Posted on February 16, 2011


The Renault F1 team has been extensively restyled this season already with the arrival of Lotus and today it announced a forced change with Nick Heidfeld replacing his former team mate Robert Kubica. Although there had been speculation about the team looking at other options, it always looked likely that they would go for Heidfeld. Heidfeld, a veteran of 172 Grands Prix without a victory, was out of work after opting to give up his secure testing contracts with Mercedes and Pirelli for a five races deal with Sauber at the end of last season. But the injuries incurred by More…

Posted on February 7, 2011


‘Did you never think of stopping Robert (Kubica) from taking part in rallies?’ asked L’Equipe newspaper to Renault team boss Eric Boullier today. “Not for one second,” replied Boullier, “He could just as easily have been knocked over by a bus. Robert is a racer, he loves cars and he lives for nothing but racing. Competing is his essence. At 14 he slept in a kart factory because he loved racing. From the outset it was agreed among us that Robert would do rallies as well as F1. It was vital for him. His strength comes from that passion. I More…

Posted on January 25, 2011


As we are counting down to the launches of the new cars, with Ferrari at the end of this week and most of the other teams at the start of next week, I thought it would be good to investigate an area that is central to the “look” of a new car, but is often overlooked – the livery. When we see a new car we see the livery – and quickly get used to it as an identifier on TV – but don’t necessarily take in how it was designed, what it aims to achieve and so on. And More…

Posted on January 2, 2011


Renault F1 team, 0 wins, 3 podiums, 0 poles, 5th in Constructors’ championship I found the Renault team very interesting to study this year on several levels. Organisationally, the team had new ownership in the shape of tech investor Gerard Lopez and his Genii company. It retained some participation from the Renault car company, but that ended after the season finished as Genii bought out Renault’s 25% stake. The intention is to sell between 25% and 40% of the company to Group Lotus, which also becomes title sponsor for the next three years. Lopez has all sorts of innovative ideas More…

Posted on December 7, 2010


The Renault F1 team has apologised to Nelson Piquet and his son Nelson Jr and agreed to pay a large amount of damages for libelling them in September last year over the Singapore crash scandal. The matter was heard in the High Court and Renault accepted the outcome. The Piquets however have indicated that this is “the start rather than the end” of their mission to clear up “wrongs” over what the case which rocked F1. Piquet Jr was involved in a plot with then team boss Flavio Briatore and engineering director Pat Symonds to deliberately crash his car at More…

Posted on October 6, 2010


Today Renault was at the centre of two stories. First Kimi Raikkonen distanced himself from the team’s recent suggestions that he was in discussions with them about next year and then the team announced that managing director and former technical chief Bob Bell had left the team. Team Principal Eric Boullier has been promoted to managing director and so now holds the exact same position as Flavio Briatore held. Raikkonen’s quotes in a Finnish newspaper end the speculation about his possible return to the sport with Renault. It was Boullier who let it out in Monza that Raikkonen’s management had More…

Posted on July 24, 2010


This has been an enthralling weekend on the track, but there has been quite a bit happening behind the scenes too. The teams are actively engaged on a number of discussions, but the eye catching story is the one about the Renault team asking Bernie Ecclestone for an advance on money due to it at the end of the season. Normally this is something teams do when they have serious cash flow problems and aren’t sure if they can make it to the end of the season. No-one suspects that this is the case with Renault, but team principal Eric More…

Posted on July 19, 2010


This summer is unusual in that we already know the identity of most of the drivers in the top teams’ cars for next year. Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull will field unchanged driver line ups and the same is likely to be true of Mercedes unless Michael Schumacher has a sudden change of heart and decides to quit at the end of the season. But he has been talking about next year’s car and looks very much as though his thoughts are of racing again in 2011. This leaves only the seat alongside Robert Kubica at Renault. The team has More…

Posted on July 8, 2010


Robert Kubica will drive for Renault for the next two seasons, it was announced today. The Pole has been outstanding at the wheel of the Renault this season, challenging for the win in Monaco and regularly outperforming the car. That said, the car has been improving dramatically as Renault rediscovers its confidence following the Singapore crash scandal last Autumn. They have brought a steady stream of updates to the car since the start of the season and they have been in front of Mercedes and Ferrari at times this season on pure pace. “It was a straightforward decision for me More…

Posted on December 16, 2009


Renault announced today, as expected, that it is to stay in F1 for the moment, but having sold an interest in its Enstone chassis operation to Genii Capital, run by tech investor Gerard Lopez. Lopez was not present at the announcement in Paris and Renault’s long term strategy in F1 is not clear from today’s announcement. Of primary importance as far as Bernie Ecclestone is concerned is that the name Renault remains in the sport and that they continue as a supplier of engines, to maintain the balance with Mercedes and Cosworth and it was also confirmed today that Red More…



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