This week, the Renault F1 Team's engine factory in Viry-Châtillon celebrates thirty years in Formula 1. Sitting proudly above the A6 autoroute just south of Paris, the site welcomed Renault Sport in 1976. Before than, the sporting arm of the French manufacturer had been based in Dieppe, in western France.
In its first years, the factory – which was significantly smaller than now – produced both the chassis and engine of the Renault Turbo cars, which were driven by Jean-Pierre Jabouille and René Arnoux. These walls housed the knowledge and determination that earned Renault its first successes in Formula 1. Driven by innovators such as Bernard Dudot, Gérard Larrouse, François Castaing and others, the story had begun.
As the 1990s approached, the Viry-Châtillon site became home to another technology that Renault would make its own: the V10 engine. This famous unit won drivers' world championships in the hands of Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Michael Schumacher, Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve, and took six consecutive constructors' championships from 1992 to 1997 with the Williams and Benetton teams.
Today, after two consecutive world title successes in 2005 and 2006, the Renault F1 Team's engine base is proud to have won eight constructors' championships in its twenty five seasons in the sport. During the thirty years since Renault's F1 debut, only Ferrari has won more titles, and this exceptional track record is testament to technical expertise of the highest order.
"Renault has been a benchmark in Formula 1 for thirty years," commented Rob White. "Our successes today are built on the foundations laid by the turbo pioneers three decades ago, and supported by the might of the entire Renault Group. We are proud to be the guardians of this heritage, and are working flat out to ensure we can continue our success in the coming years."
Out pictures shows the 1977 Renault F1 Team at Viry-Châtillon