|After dominating the world of Formula 1 from 1992
to 1997 as an engine supplier (six constructors' world championship titles and five
drivers' world championship titles), Renault has set itself a new challenge. It aims to
win the Formula 1 World Championship with a Renault designed single-seater. Renault's
involvement in this sporting arena will accelerate the company's international
development, in terms of brand image and recognition, as Formula 1 moves into new
After a period of two years during which it has been closely monitoring
technological developments, Renault has decided to return to Formula 1 as of 2002. The
manufacturer has set itself the ambitious challenge of being once again victorious in this
sporting discipline, but this time with a full team (chassis + engine) and under its own
colours. To carry out this project, Renault purchased on March 15 Benetton UK, which owns
Benetton Formula Limited. The total cost of the transaction amounted to $120 million.
Located near Oxford, this Formula 1 team, which won the World Championship on two
occasions in 1994 and 1995, employs 315 people and has top-rate technical facilities,
including an ultra-modern wind tunnel.
The Benetton team was an obvious choice for Renault, not only because of the titles it
has won in the past, but also due to the shared expertise and the quality of the
relationship uniting the employees of both companies.
The Chairman of the new entity formed around Renault Sport will be Patrick Faure, also
Chairman and C.E.O. of Renault V.I.. The entity will be divided into two units. The
"Formula 1 engine development and racing" activity, located at Viry-Chatillon,
will be headed by Christian Contzen, General Manager of Renault Sport. The
"chassis" activity, based in Enstone, in the U.K., will be headed by Flavio
Briatore, who will, in addition, become Team Manager as of the next Grand Prix.
Renault will put the 2000 and 2001 seasons to good use by developing a new
single-seater and a new generation of V10 engines featuring innovative technology. During
this transition period, the team will compete in the Formula 1 World Championship under
the name of Benetton Supertec and its current partners. The Renault name will only appear
on the single-seater from 2002.
With eleven world Formula 1 titles already to its credit as an engine supplier, Renault
is taking up this new challenge of winning with a 100% Renault single-seater. It is the
only major title now missing from the brand's sporting achievements.
Louis Schweitzer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Renault, made the following
comment: "I said we would return one day to Formula 1. It is the pinnacle of
motorsport, a school of excellence for responsiveness, agility, technological skills and
the ability to surpass oneself. I believe today that a Renault team has the capacity to
win the World Championship and I have every confidence in the men and women of Renault
(March 16, 2000)