Renault has won 12 Constructors' World Titles (as motorist and team) and went back to its core activity as an engine supplier in 2011. Renault powers 4 teams in 2013: world champions Red Bull Racing; Lotus F1 Team; Caterham F1 Team and Williams F1 Team.
Renault’s renewed commitment to F1 underlines how important Grand Prix racing is to the brand. As well as being a formidable springboard to
promote its image across the globe, motor racing’s highest tier doubles up as a test laboratory for new technology – a factor that will become ever more relevant in the years ahead, when new engine regulations are implemented.
Renault Sport F1 is the department that has been set up to oversee
this programme. The main thrust of its work takes place at Viry-
Châtillon, traditionally the technical hub of Renault’s F1 activities where engines have been developed, built and tested for more than 30 years. In 2013, all 4 partner teams received an identical V8 engine, the RS27 - 2013.
2013 will be the final season of competition for the V8, normally aspirated engines. Introduced across the board in 2006, the 8 cylinder units are highly optimised and capable of producing well over 750bhp. Subject to a freeze in specification and performance gains since 2007, the engines will be ‘retired’ after the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix to make way for a turbocharged V6 unit equipped with potent electrical recuperation systems and a greater emphasis on fuel economy.
Each team also has its own group of engine specialists and technicians who are assigned for the season’s duration. Furthermore, the eight Renault-powered drivers have a dedicated engine engineer.