This one is a triple play!
Renault Sport just outlined its new F1 effort: with the backing of two inhouse favorites: Infiniti and Bell & Ross watches.
Infiniti is transitioning from its previous title sponsorship of the Red Bull Racing crew over to Renault, which recently focused on making and selling F1 engines only. This engine-only focus tossed out many years of Renault-branded F1 cars from the 1970s through the 1990s.
Renault Sport is now fielding their own Formula One team proper, and is leaning on Infiniti for help with their hybridization efforts. This comes down to the ERS (energy recovery system) and Motor Generator Units. The tie-up also makes for great synergy across the Renault-Nissan group.
Bell & Ross is joining the fray as a more explicit branding move — but is great to have onboard the black/yellow Renault Sport Racing crew regardless!
The new Renault Sport entity also assumes much more responsibility in general. The F1 team and other racers will live under the Renault Sport Racing banner, while Renault Sport Cars will handle the development and production of sporty road cars.
2016 Renault Sport Formula One Team
Bell & Ross ventures into Formula One
Luxury watch brand Bell & Ross, the ultimate reference in aeronautical watches, is opening up to new horizons.
Motivated by its ongoing search for new challenges, Bell & Ross is proud to announce its collaboration with a Formula One Team, whose comeback has been long awaited.
Starting this season, Bell & Ross will be the official watch partner of the Renault Sport Formula One Team. The alliance of these two French brands, which share the same values, will certainly
RENAULT LAUNCHES COMPREHENSIVE MOTORSPORT PROGRAMME
- Groupe Renault Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn reveals Renault’s complete motorsport plan.
- Renault Sport will be placed at the heart of the new strategy with two pillars: Renault Sport Racing and Renault Sport Cars.
- Renault Sport Racing to include Renault’s extensive racing activities, including the newly-created Renault Sport Formula One Team and Renault e.dams.
- Renault Sport Cars to include the development and commercialisation of the Renault Sport car portfolio.
Groupe Renault Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn today revealed Renault’s complete motorsport plans at an event held at the Renault Technocentre in Guyancourt, France.
Renault Sport will be managed by two entities: Renault Sport Racing and Renault Sport Cars.
Renault Sport Racing will encompass all Renault’s motorsport activities, including Renault Sport Formula One Team, Renault e.dams, Formula Renault 2.0, Renault Sport R.S.01 Trophy, plus further customer racing and rallying programmes. Renault Sport Racing will cover operations at the two Renault motorsport sites at Enstone, UK, and Viry–Châtillon, France.
Renault Sport Cars, an evolution of Renault Sport Technologies, will manage the development and commercialisation of the Renault Sport car portfolio. Renault Sport is recognised worldwide for its excellence in hot hatches such as the Mégane R.S. and Clio R.S. as well as efficient and accessible GTs including the new Mégane GT. Renault Sport will develop its international footprint, brand appeal and portfolio growth with increased R&D investment.
Renault will use the new structure for two primary functions. Initially, it aims to promote the Renault Sport brand to a wider audience primarily using the Renault Sport Formula One Team and the global audience of F1. Secondly, it will use Formula E and racing activities such as the Clio Cup to showcase the image and design of other aspects of the Renault range such as electric vehicles.
Renault Sport Racing and Renault Sport Cars will work hand in hand to maximise technical and commercial synergies from track to road. The first demonstration of the relationship will be revealed at the Monaco Grand Prix.
‘Motorsports still spark the imagination of both enthusiasts and everyday drivers, and we are putting a comprehensive program in place today. Formula 1 is a big part of our efforts to boost awareness of Renault, particularly in markets where Renault is a newcomer, and will enhance the transfer of technologies from the track to our road cars.’ said CEO Carlos Ghosn.
To ensure the operational autonomy required to perform in the fast moving racing and high performance environment with the strategic corporate objectives and requirements of Groupe Renault, a supervisory board has been created, which will be chaired by Carlos Ghosn.
Renault Sport Racing will be headed by Jérôme Stoll as President, supported by Cyril Abiteboul as Managing Director. Frédéric Vasseur will report to the latter as Racing Director, responsible for sporting and technical matters. Renault Sport Cars will be headed by Patrice Ratti as Managing Director. Guillaume Boisseau, Groupe Renault Brands Director, will lead the marketing efforts of the group to ensure the alignment and activation of the racing programs with Renault’s marketing strategy.
Renault Sport Formula One Team announced
At the core of the racing activities will be the newly-created Renault Sport Formula One Team. The new F1 challenger consists of the Renault R.S.16 chassis, developed and manufactured in Enstone, whilst the Renault R.E.16 power unit will continue to be developed in Viry-Châtillon.
A number of key appointments have been made in the F1 team to avoid any dilution of the specific requirements of Formula One. Bob Bell is appointed F1 Chief Technical Officer and will manage the efforts of Nick Chester as Chassis Technical Director and Rémi Taffin as Engine Technical Director. Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer are confirmed as Renault Sport Formula One Team’s race drivers, and will be supported by Esteban Ocon, who joins the team as Third and Reserve Driver.
Key Formula One partners confirmed
Renault announced its partner portfolio at the event. Renault-Nissan Alliance partner Infiniti will continue its journey in Formula One alongside Renault and will enhance its involvement through a specific technology program developing the second generation of energy recovery systems (ERS) for the F1 power unit.
The technical collaboration between Total and Renault will continue in 2016.
Renault also announced new partnerships with other prestigious brands, including premium watch supplier, Bell & Ross, revolutionary audio systems inventors, Devialet, clothing company Bestseller as well as continuing relationships with the F1 team’s current partners, including Microsoft and EMC. Renault will continue its working relationship with Gravity Motorsports, an affiliate of the Genii Capital Group, which will retain a minority shareholding in the F1 team. Genii and Gravity worked tirelessly to ensure the team’s survival in extremely difficult circumstances and Renault is pleased to recognize this commitment as Gerard Lopez remains a non-executive director of the team.
Renault Sport Racing programmes further detailed
Former Renault Sport Technologies customer racing staff will now come under the banner of Renault Sport Racing under the continued management of Jean-Pascal Dauce. The new organisation will allow Renault to connect more efficiently the various categories to which it is currently committed, from rallying with the Clio R3T, rallye raid, and one-make track series including the Clio Cup and Renault Sport R.S.01 Trophy. Renault will also continue its Formula Renault 2.0 single-seater series. For more than 45 years, the series has given eminent drivers and champions the opportunity to start motorsport and reach its highest levels. To date, some 60% of current F1 drivers came through Formula Renault.
Renault’s Formula E activity will also come under Renault Sport Racing. Renault has committed to the championship until at least season 4 with Renault e.dams team. The strategic importance of Formula E for the Renault brand is highlighted through the strength and stability of the management team composed of four-time Formula One World Champion Alain Prost and Jean-Paul Driot. Over the next seasons Renault Sport Racing will develop and supply a full powertrain composed of gearbox and electric motor to the team. Targets are ambitious, with an objective to win both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ title.
Renault Sport Academy
The Renault Sport Academy was also officially announced, with the double objective to find emerging talent that can be brought to Formula One and to provide an opportunity for Renault’s markets to take an active role in the construction of tomorrow’s sporting performance through promoting and following their local drivers.
With this announcement, motorsport once more becomes an integral part of Renault’s brand identity and, ultimately, DNA.
INFINITI’S FORMULA ONE INVOLVEMENT PROGRESSES
- Technical partner of new Renault Sport Formula One team from 2016 season
- Contributing Infiniti’s expertise in hybrid performance
- Leveraging opportunities within the RenaultNissan Alliance
Hong Kong / Paris – Infiniti’s successful involvement in Formula One enters the next phase. Starting with the new 2016 season, Infiniti will be a technical partner of the new Renault Sport Formula One team. Leveraging its expertise in performance hybrids, Infiniti will contribute engineering resources to the Renault Energy F1 Power Unit’s Energy Recovery System (ERS), which incorporates two motor generator units, the MGU-H and MGU-K, and a battery.
This new and enhanced involvement strengthens the Renault Nissan Alliance and at the same time leverages the opportunities the Alliance provides by creating powerful industrial synergies for its members.
Infiniti’s reputation for performance hybrid vehicles is built on the widely-acclaimed 3.5-litre hybrid engine. The Q70 saloon, equipped with this engine, has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest accelerating full-hybrid car. The same hybrid system is also offered on the Q50 sports saloon. Infiniti’s strong expertise will be used by the Renault Sport Formula One team in Viry-Châtillon as a team of Infiniti hybrid specialists move from Infiniti’s technical center in Atsugi, Japan, to France to support development of the Renault Energy power unit. At the same time, Infiniti will use the experience from the F1 ERS system to further enhance its hybrid powertrains for road cars.
Infiniti began its Formula One involvement in 2011 as partner of the Red Bull Racing team and evolved into the title sponsor of the team as of the 2013 season. Building upon this experience, Infiniti now takes the logical next step forming a technical cooperation with the Renault Sports Formula One team based on a five-year plan.
“At Infiniti, motorsport is an important part of our business strategy,” said Roland Krueger, President Infiniti Motor Company. “Forming a technical collaboration and enabling technology transfer road-to-track and track-to-road is the logical next step. The establishment of the Renault Sport Formula One Team by our Alliance partner Renault provides us with an ideal opportunity to enter this next phase of our long-term motorsport strategy.”
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
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