In recent years a number of legendary names have appeared on the F1 grid, even if it is difficult, even impossible, to find the slightest trace of DNA from the original outfit in the latest incarnation.
But enough about Lotus.
The option to run a turbocharged engine had been in the F1 rules for many years, but nobody had dared to pursue it until Renault. It had quietly begun track testing with a 1.5-litre version of the turbo engine in 1976, and a short programme of races was scheduled for the following year.
The V6 turbocharged RS01 made its debut in the 1977 British GP in the hands of Jean-Pierre Jabouille.
Nicknamed the 'Yellow Teapot,' the car retired from its first race, but not before it had made a big impression. Four further outings at the end of the year provided more valuable experience. The education process continued through 1978 until Jabouille earned the first points for Renault - and for any turbo engine - with fourth place in the US GP. A move to a twin-turbo set-up for the 1979 Monaco GP was one of the big breakthroughs. The team had finally begun to conquer the critical problem of turbo lag, and Jabouille duly scored the marque's historical first win on home ground in Dijon, having started from pole.
Renault's F1 involvement began to pay dividends as it finished second in the 1983 World Championship with Alain Prost. The Frenchman had taken four wins to champion Piquet's three, but missed the title by just two points.
The same year Renault became an engine supplier for the first time, joining forces with Lotus. Supply deals were also extended to the Ligier and Tyrrell teams in subsequent seasons. In Portugal 1985 Ayrton Senna scored his first-ever GP victory with Renault power, the Brazilian proving to be one of the stars of the season.
The works outfit was closed at the end of 1985 with focus instead directed at supplying engines to other teams. Indeed in 1986 the Senna/Lotus/Renault combination proved to the fastest on the grid, as the Brazilian took eight poles.
Renault officially returned to Formula 1 in the late eighties, but this time as an engine partner to the Williams team. In its first year of competition the new partnership won two Grands Prix, and two further wins followed in 1990. Nigel Mansell - who had used Renault power at Lotus - joined the team.
It was the start of an incredible era. By the end of 1991 the combination was the one to beat, and in 1992 Mansell proved so dominant that he secured Renault's first World Championship by August.
Former works Renault driver Alain Prost joined Williams in 1993, and he too won the title before retiring. Further championships followed for Damon Hill in 1996 and for Jacques Villeneuve in 1997. Williams-Renault also won the Constructors' title in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996 and 1997.
In 1995 Renault expanded its involvement with a new collaboration with the Benetton team. Michael Schumacher won the championship in 1995, while Benetton won the Constructors' title - ensuring that with its two partners Renault scored six straight title successes between 1992 and 1997. Between 1995 and 1997 Renault engines won 74% of Grands Prix.
Renault officially departed F1 at the end of 1997. Williams, Benetton and later the new BAR team used Renault-based engines under the Supertec, Mecachrome and Playlife names, and work continued in a small development project at Viry.
Again, Renault's official absence from F1 was to be a short one. In early 2001 it was announced that the company had bought the Benetton team, and was to return in a full works capacity. The Renault name returned as Benetton's engine supplier that season, and then in 2002 the team was reborn as Renault F1 Team, with the chassis department still based at Enstone, UK, while working closely with the engine division in Viry.
In 2003 Fernando Alonso gave the new team its first pole in Malaysia, and then the young Spaniard followed up with his and the team's first win in Hungary. The following year Jarno Trulli gave Renault victory in the most prestigious race of the year in Monaco.
In 2005 Alonso was the man to beat as he won the drivers' title and Renault took the constructors' version with eight wins between Alonso and team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella.
Despite the huge change from V10 to V8 technology for 2006, the team was able to sustain its momentum. A further eight wins over the season saw Renault fighting with Ferrari for both titles, but Renault's innovation again proved victorious as it again captured both the Drivers' and Constructors' titles.
Supplying other teams had long been a Renault policy, and in 2007 a new partnership was formed with Red Bull Racing. The dark blue cars soon moved up the grid, and in 2010 Vettel emerged triumphant as the youngest champion in the history of the sport, while Red Bull-Renault earned the Constructors' championship.
As Renault refocused its activities around engine supply, Vettel proved unstoppable in the World Championship, breaking all the records as he secured consecutive titles in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Alongside Red Bull Racing, Renault supplied Lotus, Caterham and Williams. Throughout the era, the V8 engine developed by engineers at Viry-Chatillon dominated, taking over 40% of the available wins and a record number of pole positions.
In 2014, F1 welcomed a radical new wave of technology with the introduction of avant-garde powertrain technology. The new Renault F1 power unit revisited a previous engine generation's turbocharged architecture but combined it with powerful electric motors and an array of advanced energy-recovering devices that cut fuel consumption by 40% year on year while delivering comparable levels of performance and acceleration.
Renault continued to supply Red Bull, sister team Toro Rosso as well as Lotus, but the era proved hard fought. A rethink of the corporate strategy was required, and at the end of 2015 Renault announced it would return to team ownership.
From 2016, the Renault name would once again race in F1, this time under the Renault Sport Formula One Team banner.
According to the French manufacturer, the aim was not only to pay homage to the success of the past, but to re-energise multiple platforms within Renault. Quite.
At the team's unveiling in Paris in February, Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer were announced as race drivers and French youngster Esteban Ocon as test and reserve.
The original black and yellow livery subsequently gave way to a more traditional Renault look, the historic yellow becoming more prevalent.
Despite its long, proud history in the sport, Renault returned to F1 pretty much like Haas, as rookies.
In the final years of Lotus the facility at Enstone had been allowed to fall into disrepair, the workforce seriously depleted, machinery and licenses out of date and all manner of other problems greeted the new owner.
Furthermore, with the lateness of the deal, there was no time for Renault to produce a new car, so instead the French team had to use the car planned by Lotus, which consisted of a lot of 2015 components and was built for a Mercedes power unit.
Is it any wonder therefore that the French team struggled as it did in 2016?
If proof were needed of how bad things were for the Enstone outfit, think about the fact that despite using the same engine as Red Bull, the Austrian team scored two wins and amassed 468 points while the French outfit struggled to score 8.
OK, Red Bull had Adrian Newey, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, but a 460 point difference?
Understandably, the team was among the first to switch focus to 2017, but nonetheless updates were brought on board, though many believe these were essentially being tested for the forthcoming season.
Behind the scenes the team was working hard to rebuild, investing in new staff, new facilities and desperately needed new equipment. On track, Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer did the best with what they had available to them.
Understandably, reliability was an issue, the pair only finishing 32 times from 41 starts, Palmer not even making it to the grid in Bahrain due to a hydraulics issue. Then there was the mystery fire which barbecued Magnussen's car in the Sepang pitlane - bringing the practice session to a half for around 15 minutes - constantly re-igniting despite the best efforts of the (brave) crew.
Though tending to over-drive the car, Magnussen ruled the roost in the first half of the season, while Palmer made significant strides in the second half.
The team's best result came in Russia where, having avoided the first lap melee, Magnussen drove a canny race using strategy and guile to bring the Renault home in seventh. Unlucky to be hit by Kvyat in Monaco when another points finish was on the cards, there were needless mistakes in Canada, Belgium and Italy. Indeed, he was dicing with his teammate at Spa when he crashed heavily.
It took rookie Palmer a lot longer to play himself in, but once he found his feet - aided by changes to the car's floor - he began to deliver.
While there were the inevitable mistakes and crashes at least he appeared to learn from them. The spin in Hungary, which put paid to his first points finish of the year, was needless and looked set to cost him his drive in 2017. However a strong drive to tenth in Malaysia was rewarded with a new contract.
With Hulkenberg opting to join the French team in its second season, Magnussen chose to follow Romain Grosjean to Haas.
Though Hulkenberg's arrival signalled high hopes for the French team, which would consider 2017 its true debut season, the news in early January that Frederic Vasseur was standing down as Team Principal suggested there were still issues at Enstone, the Frenchman - who subsequently headed to Sauber - claiming that there were too many chiefs.
Renault had a mountain to climb, for while most of the problems of 2016 could be put down to the chassis and the hangover from the Lotus days, the power unit - as used by Red Bull and Toro Rosso - would provide a constant benchmark by which to judge progress.
Sadly, it was the power unit that was at the heart of many of the French outfit's problems, particularly in the early stages of the season. Indeed, approaching the summer break the French outfit was trailing Haas and Toro Rosso.
As early as pre-season testing it was clear that the much-hyped new engine was problematic, to put it mildly, and this continued well into the season. While many of the issues were eventually addressed, allowing the French team to overhaul first Haas and then Toro Rosso, continued problems with the power unit, particularly for customer teams, suggests much work still needs to be done.
As ever, Hulkenberg rose to the occasion, however the same could not be said of his teammate Palmer. While it was only fair to give the Briton the benefit of the doubt following Renault's difficult return in 2016, in 2017 he had more than enough opportunity to sort himself out but failed to do so. While there was an element of bad luck, the fact is that be it qualifying or race day the Briton was no match for his teammate who himself was rarely running at maximum
Ironically his best result came in Singapore, where he brought the car home in sixth at a time speculation over his future was already dominating the headlines. Just a few weeks later he was dropped, and from the outset his replacement, Carlos Sainz, began to deliver, scoring points on his debut and giving a glimpse of what 2018 might hold.
The arrival of Sainz also gave Hulkenberg a kick up the rear, not that the German really needed it. That said, the lack of pressure from a strong teammate in equal equipment can be damaging, and The Hulk - and thereby his team - should benefit from such a strong pairing in 2018.
Throughout 2017 the team continued to invest in its infrastructure while also increasing its workforce, its approaching of various personnel employed at rival teams not exactly improving its popularity in the paddock. Then there was the controversial signing of the FIA's technical boss Marcin Budkowski, a move that further infuriated the French outfit's rivals.
As Renault re-establishes itself as a constructor, not merely an engine manufacturer, there were sure to be further problems. However, overcoming Haas and Toro Rosso to move within striking range of Williams showed the French outfit was making progress. On the other hand, it would be interesting to see how the team measured up against McLaren now that the Woking manufacturer was switching to Renault power.
The bottom line was that despite turning things around after its poor start to the season, further issues towards the end of the year made it clear that in terms of its engine the French manufacturer still had a long way to go as far as pace and reliability were concerned.
Renault's third season since its return could be pretty much like the infamous 'third album' that caused so many bands to fall by the wayside.
While 2018 witnessed a step forward for the French team, it could in no way be described as a "significant" step. Indeed, the Enstone-based outfit was hard-pressed to hold off Haas, the American team in just its third season.
Indeed, the French outfit scored a majority of its points in the first part of the season, and as Haas closed in following the update to the Ferrari power unit, it was Renault that protested the American team's floor, thus depriving Grosjean of his well-earned sixth-place at Monza.
Also playing into Renault's hands was the demise of Force India, the Silverstone-based outfit, which due to its financial ails had been unable to update its car as required, finally going into administration, and though it re-emerged as a new team it forfeited the 59 points earned in the opening half of the season.
A decent chassis helped make up for the obvious power disadvantage of the Renault, a situation Red Bull knows only too well. On the other hand, neither Hulkenberg nor Sainz was particularly convincing over the course of the season, the German, in particular, getting involved in far too many incidents.
It's ironic that the team that virtually demanded the introduction of the hybrid formula has yet to master it, the French outfit now under threat from Honda, a latecomer to the hybrid party.
That said, of the three Renault-powered teams, the works outfit had the best record in terms of reliability.
Naturally, the lack of power meant the team was limited in terms of tracks at which it might perform well, and even then the superior chassis of Red Bull was leaps and bounds ahead of the RS18.
Over the summer, the team shocked the F1 world with the news that Ricciardo had opted to join for 2019, however, this was likely to have had more to do with breaking free from an increasingly Verstappen-leaning Red Bull than his blind faith in the French team suddenly taking that "significant" step forward. Then again, the £22m a year would have helped.
It remained to be seen how the arrest of Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn would affect the team, the Frenchman having been a keen supporter of the F1 programme.
Furthermore, looking ahead to the planned budget cap, Cyril Abiteboul, while claiming that dealing with it would compromise the efforts of both Mercedes and Red Bull, suggested that his own team had no significant (team) development plans before 2021, suggesting that the team would effectively "stand still"... which had to be the last thing that Ricciardo and Hulkenberg wanted to hear.
Car launches usually see lots of hyperbole as the teams talk up their chances. Not so Renault.
While it was understandable that the team's senior officials and drivers were told not to discuss Christian Horner's comments or make any comparisons to Honda, one had to wonder why the order was given "do not comment on the following at this point in time".
"Do not let yourself be drawn on the number of points we want/expect to score," personnel were instructed. "Do not state we are targeting podiums, the position we want to finish in the Constructors' Championship (eg. Fourth / third) or our aim in classification in the drivers' championship".
Other topics that were verboten, included: "Engine power in kW. Our expected / planned engine evolutions over the season (different specifications etc). Technical details on the chassis (eg. evolutions on suspension / performance gains) and Aero points we have gained or lost since 2018."
Indeed, it might have been easier to list the topics that could be talked about.
As it happened, Renault was right not to make any rash predictions, for by season end, having lost out to McLaren, the French outfit was under increasing pressure from Toro Rosso.
While the engine was an improvement on previous seasons - stop tittering at the back - the chassis was actually a step backwards, with reliability was also an issue. The retirement of both cars within a lap of one another in Bahrain, both suffering the same MHU-K issue, was a clear sign that the French team still had some way to go.
As the French outfit focussed on reliability rather than pace it began to lose ground, and the numerous upgrades throughout the season barely helped.
Like Haas, the RS19 appeared to have the tiniest of operating windows, and was only truly competitive at low-downforce tracks like Montreal and Monza.
Race pace was usually better than single lap pace, but poor performance on Saturday afternoons meant the team was already at a disadvantage come Sunday.
Though handicapped by the equipment at his disposal, Ricciardo still manged to give glimpses of his talent, most notably in Canada and Italy, not forgetting his particularly strong performance in Brazil where he finished sixth, despite having slipped to last following a clash with Magnussen at the start of the race.
On the other hand, the Australian will want to forget all about Baku, where, a typically bold out-braking move saw him and Kvyat take to the escape road, only for the former Red Bull driver to reverse into the Russian's car. Oops.
While Hulkenberg got his season off to the best possible start by claiming 7th in Melbourne, in many ways that was pretty much as good as it got.
That said, the German claimed another in 7th in Canada, the low downforce track one of the few that played to his car's advantage, while Monza saw him come home in 5th, albeit behind his teammate.
The performance in Italy was particularly interesting, for it came just days after Hulkenberg had learned that Esteban Ocon would join the team for 2020, thereby making the German redundant.
While pundits pondered what other opportunities there might be for 'The Hulk', the fact is that over the course of two seasons he had been effectively seen off by Carlos Sainz and then Ricciardo.
Indeed, in the wet and wild conditions in Germany, Hulkenberg finally appeared set to get the monkey off his back and claim his first F1 podium. However, it was not to be, the German, who usually excels in such conditions, one of several to end up in the barriers.
Aware of its problems, Renault was among the first to switch focus to 2020, and indeed 2021, while behind the scenes Pat Fry and aero man Dirk de Beer were recruited, while Peter Machin and Nick Chester were effectively shown the door.
Having been beaten to fourth by McLaren, there was a further sting in the tail when it was announced that from 2021 the Woking team would be using Mercedes engines, thereby leaving Renault as its only customer... somewhat ironic when one considers that the French manufacturer was the main driving force behind the introduction of the hybrid formula.
To add to its various problems both drivers were disqualified from the Japanese Grand Prix after finishing 6th (Ricciardo) and 10th, the pair deemed to have benefitted from an illegal driver aid in terms of automated brake bias.
Furthermore as the fall-out from the Carlos Ghosn saga continued, Renault's interim CEO revealed that the company's future in F1 was "under review".
While Haas' future in F1 is in doubt because the team has effectively achieved all it can - much like Mercedes but to a much, much lesser degree - Renault's is in doubt due to its under achievement.
For 2020, Ricciardo will be joined by Esteban Ocon, which should at least guarantee some fun Sunday afternoons, and while the team has made a number of high-profile technical signings one has to wonder whether the bosses at the parent company will consider it all worthwhile.
Cyril Abiteboul has made much of the fact that 2021 will allow the sport a re-set, however, other than how his team fares in the meantime, there is the fact that the full impact of the new regulations in 2021 may take several years to make a difference, which is hardly likely to go down well with those footing the bill.