Posted on March 28, 2014


Lotus’ troubled start to the season continued in Sepang as the team’s drivers set a total of just 14 timed laps across both opening practice sessions, with neither driver record a time in FP1 and Pastor Maldonado failing to set a time all day. The Venezuelan was restricted to the garage for much of the morning session in Malaysia but he eventually took the track with 20 minutes remaining. His outing didn’t last long however. Midway through his out lap smoke could be seen pouring from the back of his E22 and he was quickly told to “switch off the More…

Posted on February 27, 2014


Force India’s Sergio Perez set the pace as the final four days of pre-season testing got underway in Bahrain today, the former McLaren driver finished ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen on another worrying day for Renault and its customer teams. With just four days until the teams turn their attention to Melbourne it was another strong day for Mercedes-powered cars, with all but Rosberg completing more than 100 laps and building on the reliability that they have shown throughout the winter. As for the works Mercedes driver, even he put in 89 laps, but described it as a More…

Posted on September 14, 2011


The decision of reigning F1 champions Red Bull and Renault to extend their deal with for a supply of customer engines for five more years was announced over the Monza weekend, before Sebastian Vettel went out and won a second race in a row on what’s always been considered a “power circuit”. This deal is significant in that it means that not only will the team use the current V8 units with the Renault KERS system for 2012 and 2013, but is committed to the marque for the new generation of fuel efficient V6 1.6 litre turbo engines from 2014 More…

Posted on August 28, 2011


Romain Grosjean clinched the GP2 title this weekend, following in the footsteps of Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Nico Hulkenberg. Now he needs to move back into F1 and it will be very interesting to see what happens. Grosjean has had an F1 chance before, of course, in 2009 when he was drafted in by Flavio Briatore to replace Nelson Piquet Jr. It was the wrong move at the wring time, he came in with no testing, mid season and up against Fernando Alonso in the other car. He was too young, not prepared and wasn’t physically strong enough. Now, More…

Posted on August 26, 2011


Although there appears to be a commercial dimension to Renault’s decision to replace Nick Heidfeld with Bruno Senna, it is also based on performance. The German was outqualified 8-3 by Vitaly Petrov and although he has performed slightly better in races, as you would expect relative to an inexperienced driver, this is clearly not in line with what Renault management was expecting. It’s hard for a driver to come into a team mid-season, but the team has said they expect Senna to be on Petrov’s pace by Singapore. As for this weekend, I’ve commissioned some stats from the leading stats More…

Posted on February 20, 2011


This week Nick Heidfeld is taking part in his second official test as a Renault driver having been drafted in to replace the injured Robert Kubica, his former team mate, who was injured in a recreational rally accident. The Renault chance is his best opportunity to make his mark in F1 for several years, since he was at BMW Sauber in 2008 with Kubica in fact. The 33 year old was the most competitive driver with the right combination of technical ability and recent experience available. Here he speaks exclusively to my colleague Lawrence Barretto at the Barcelona test who More…

Posted on February 9, 2011


Renault has issued a statement tonight saying that both Bruno Senna and Nick Heidfeld will be given a chance to test the new car at this weekend’s Jerez test with a view to replacing team leader Robert Kubica, badly injured in a rally accident on Sunday. “Vitaly (Petrov) will drive the R31 on Thursday and Friday, as originally scheduled. For Saturday and Sunday, the team will give mileage to Bruno Senna and will also evaluate Nick Heidfeld, who is a potential replacement for Robert Kubica as a race driver. The exact running order for the weekend will be confirmed on More…

Posted on November 5, 2010


Lotus finally confirmed the news that we’ve expected for ages, that they will use Renault engines for the next two seasons. We already knew that they would be using Red Bull gearboxes and hydraulics. It marks a significant step forward for the team. It was also announced that Red Bull has renewed its deal with Renault for two more years. The team will run KERS next year, Christian Horner has confirmed. Less clear is what happens next with the name of the team and with the arrival of Group Lotus, the car company, into F1 in partnership with the current More…

Posted on March 22, 2010


We receive many messages asking, “How do I get a job in F1?” Renault has announced that it is expanding its intern programme, known as the Altran Engineering Academy, for this year and is offering a placement at the engine department at Viry as well as the team’s chassis HQ in Enstone. Renault is keen to encourage young engineers to come into F1 and three graduates of the programme have gone on to full time jobs with the team, one is still working there today. Last year’s winner was Helen Makey (pictured) Renault’s managing director Bob Bell says that ideas More…

Posted on March 4, 2010


The Renault team’s strategy of pushing into Russia in search of commercial opportunity has yielded fruit with the signing of Lada as a sponsor for the team. This leads to the highly unusual situation of an F1 team displaying two car brands. The deal was done with the blessing of Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin and is more than anything else symbolic of Russian support for Vitaly Petrov and Renault F1′s programme. Renault has a 25% stake in Avtovaz, Lada’s parent company. Lada uses Renault platforms and transmissions. Both cars will run with Lada branding and Petrov will carry the More…

Posted on December 15, 2009


Renault has called a press conference in Paris tomorrow to announce its decision on Formula 1. It seems that they may announce that the company has decided to sell a 75% shareholding in its Enstone operation to Gerard Lopez, the 37 year old internet entrepreneur who was the first investor in Skype. The deal entails Lopez and his company Gravity, getting the factory for nothing and a guaranteed free supply of engines for two years. The sponsorship of the French Total oil company is also included. In return the team remains under the Renault name for at least the 2010 More…

Posted on November 29, 2009


Flavio Briatore was not present in court this week in Paris to hear the case from his lawyer as to why his lifetime ban from F1 should be overturned. The former Renault F1 team boss is also seeking damages of €1 million and his former executive director of engineering Pat Symonds is seeking €500,000 and a reversal of his five year ban over the Singapore race fixing case. So will they get their way? Briatore’s case was heard by the Tribunal de Grand Instance. His lawyer argued that the FIA World Motor Sport Council was both the investigating and judging More…



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