Renault celebrates th f anniversary at silverstone

Renault Celebrates 30th F1 Anniversary at Silverstone

Renault will celebrate their thirty-year Formula One anniversary this weekend at the same circuit where it all began – Silverstone. In retrospect, a small and relatively inexperienced team arrived at Silverstone in July 1977 to unleash an innovative turbo-engine car dubbed as the ‘yellow teapot’ due to its distinctive color. Since then, the French team has been astounding the paddock.

Though the RS01 would eventually retire with engine problems on Lap 16, it was a promising start for the team. Three decades later, Renault returns to Silverstone with an enviable record of eight constructors’ titles, 113 wins and 154 pole positions.

“We arrived at Silverstone with something that was completely different to everything else: radial Michelin tyres which was the first time in the world; a turbocharged engine for the first time in Formula One; and a young driver who had been European Formula Two champion called Jean-Pierre Jabouille! So everything was new. I was very realistic arriving at Silverstone. I knew that we would eventually be successful, but first of all I wanted to finish races, said Jean-Pierre Jabouille, a Renault driver who graced the momentous event.

Jabouille added, “The car was very difficult to drive for two reasons: the first, the response time of the turbo, and secondly, the Michelin tyres weren’t at all progressive. They had good grip but when they let go, it was very sudden. The turbo lag, which gave you huge power very suddenly, plus Michelin’s tyres made it very difficult to drive. But, I remember that Ken Tyrrell laughed at us a lot. It was he who called us the tea pot but we made our debut, we weren’t a disgrace, we were in the middle of the pack and at the end of a number laps, what we expected happened: the engine broke with a nice cloud of smoke which made everyone laugh.”

To celebrate the team’s anniversary, Renault has designed an exceptional livery for the R27. The livery was inspired by RS01’s distinctive original design. The car will be on display throughout the British Grand Prix weekend.

General Manager Gerard Larrousse has this to say: “When we started the Renault Formula One campaign, we didn’t have too many hopes of finishing races, because the engine was just too fragile, but I was one hundred percent sure that we could solve the various different problems in some weeks or months. What I did hope was that we would have an advantage on the atmospheric engines at three races which were held at altitude: Kyalami, Zeltweg and Dijon, so that was our goal. Of course, within two years we achieved it with our win at Dijon.”

Jean Sage, Renault team manager, added: “I started working for Renault on January 1, 1977, six months before the first race. It was very short notice to race the car. Silverstone was almost a success for us. First, we expected to race the car before, and we had so many problems, so our aim at Silverstone was to last as long as possible in the race. We were happy with what we achieved in, because we knew that the car was not so reliable and where we qualified and the laps we did was already a success for us. It was not a disappointment.”

Renault is currently on the fourth position in the constructors’ standing. While Ferrari is eyeing on McLaren Mercedes team, Renault is aiming at BMW Sauber. The French team intends to challenge Sauber’s skill and readiness bolstered by race parts that are more powerful than the BMW X5 parts. Silverstone track is waiting…

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