It’s widely anticipated now, that after a 5 year manufacturer hiatus from F1, Renault are about to make their return to Formula One as a fully fledged constructor. The Red Bull-Renault fallout has been an ugly, messy and well publicized divorce and with criticism of Renault beginning as early as Austria last year, it is perhaps inevitable that Red Bull and Renault would eventually part ways before their contract expired at the end of 2016.
After four consecutive world titles, Red Bull-Renault’s fall from grace has hit the Milton Keynes squad hard, and over the weekend we’ll asses who we think really is to blame for Red Bull’s fall from grace, but in the meantime, as we look forward to the yellow and black cars returning to the F1 grid, here are four reasons we’re looking forward to Renault’s return to Formula One.
With full manufacturer backing, we can finally start to see the best of Grosjean
The future of Romain Grosjean looked bleak after the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix, when after causing a first lap pile up, he became the first driver since 1994 to receive a one race suspension, and was later branded a “first lap nutcase” by Red Bull’s Mark Webber. It’s perhaps no surprise, that given their current financial troubles, Lotus have barely been able to develop their car during the course of this season, and Grosjean’s podium in Spa this year is a testament to his abilities and potential.
At the age of 29, Grosjean no longer has time on his side, and is rapidly running out of seasons in which he can show the F1 world what he is really capable of. The fact that Ferrari held talks with him, before choosing to continue with Kimi Raikkonen show that he is highly regarded in the paddock. In a team with full constructor backing, and funds available to develop the car, giving Grosjean a competitive package could well be one of the most important tasks of Renault’s return.
Could we be one step closer to the return of the French Grand Prix?
There can be no doubt that the French Grand Prix stands a better chance of resurrection with Renault back on the grid. By having a French manufacturer represented in Formula One, a competitive Renault could re-ignite the interests of a nation, much like Hamilton did in his spectacular debut season at McLaren back in 2008. With many of the historical linchpins of the F1 calendar under threat or already missing, San Marino, Germany and now Monza to name but a few, the return of the French GP at Magny Cours would be received extremely well both in the F1 paddock and by fans worldwide. Missing since 2008, F1’s return to France would be in our opinion, one of the most significant calendar changes of the last decade,
Job losses will remain at a minimum, or more might even be created
F1 prides itself on being the pinnacle of Motorsport, and the inevitable loss of hundreds of jobs should Lotus fold would be a great shame for both F1, and the wider global motoring community. Renault returning to F1 would safeguard that great amount of talent working within the walls of the Lotus factory at Enstone and create many opportunities for more talent to join the team. Let’s not forget, that this is the team which won Fernando Alonso back to back world titles in 2005 and 2006, and the talent and many of the personnel still remain.
It won’t just be Grosjean, collecting all the points
You can’t be serious if you think that Pastor Maldonado has stayed in F1 for multiple seasons based on his talent and race results alone. Lotus’ financial troubles have been well documented and Maldonado’s backers PDVSA contribute about £25m a year to Lotus’ bank balance. There can be no doubt that in their current situation, that this extra income is critical for Lotus’ F1 survival but the return of Renault could spell the end for Pastor in Formula One. WIth multiple talented drivers in the wings, Renault would expect to see a significant return on their investment in F1, and with the greatest of respect to Maldonado, he has hardly set the world alight in F1. With reserve driver Jolyon Palmer waiting in the wings, and even rumours of an all French team with Jean Eric Vergne joining the squad, expect Maldonado to be swiftly shown the door if Renault return.
These are just some of the reasons why we can’t wait for Renault to make their return. We’re also extremely excited about seeing Red Bull with the same engine as their mooted new partners Ferrari, and then, only time will tell if their struggles in the last two seasons have been down to Renault’s engine alone.
What are you looking forward to most about Renault’s return to the grid next year? Let us know below, we’d love to hear your thoughts!