F1: Renault Confirms Formula One Works Return in 2016; Finalizing Takeover of Lotus Operation

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BOULOGNE-BILLANCOURT, France — official team release — TMWolf photo —

Renault has confirmed that it will return to Formula One as a works constructor in 2016, and plans are already underway for the company to take over the Lotus F1 Team.

In September, officials from Renault signed a Letter of Intent with Lotus to take over the organization. That acquisition is still ongoing and has not been finalized, however the principal contracts were signed on Thursday.

“Renault had two options: to come back at 100 percent or leave. After a detailed study, I have decided that Renault will be in Formula 1, starting 2016. The final details supplied by F1’s main stakeholders gave us the confidence to accept this new challenge. Our ambition is to win–even if it will take some time,” said Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of Renault.

Renault has had uninterrupted involvement in Formula One for almost 40 years. In 1977, it revolutionized the championship with the introduction of turbocharging, a technique that soon became the norm in the sport. Renault has since taken part in more than 600 grands prix, claiming 168 race wins, 12 Constructors’ titles and 11 Drivers’ crowns.

In recent times, Renault has served as an engine supplier to multiple teams, most notably four-time World Champions Red Bull Racing; but the group’s most recent involvement as a works constructor came from 2000 to 2010. In 2000 Renault acquired the former Benetton Formula team and won the driver and constructor championships in 2005 and 2006.

Renault eventually sold the team to the Genii Capital investment company, which re-branded the team under the Lotus F1 Team name.

CREDIT: Renault Motorsports Group

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