Following the September announcement of the signing of a Letter of Intent with Lotus, teams at Renault continued to evaluate the possibility of a return to Formula 1. Particular attention was paid to competing with its own team in a financially sound way starting in 2016.
“Renault had two options: to come back at 100 percent or leave. After a detailed study, I have decided that Renault will be in Formula 1, starting 2016. The final details supplied by F1’s main stakeholders gave us the confidence to accept this new challenge. Our ambition is to win--even if it will take some time,” said Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO, Renault.
The Renault factory team last raced in the 2010 season, taking a break from the sport following the 2009 Singapore GP 'crashgate' scandal. While the factory team was on hiatus, Renault has been an engine supplier for various team such as Red Bull Racing, Toro Rosso and the Lotus F1 Team.
Renault said that the payback as an engine supplier proved to be limited, saying, “The return on the investment necessitated by the new engine regulations and the return in terms of image were low.” They added that by entering the sport as a factory team, they will take maximum benefit from race victories.
At the time of writing, work continues on finalizing the terms of the acquisition of the Lotus F1 Team although principal contracts were already signed. Renault says Lotus F1 Team stands out as their best partner and have been working together in the sport for fifteen years.
More detailed information about the new Renault F1 team will be provided by January next year. The team's competition debut is set at the start of 2016 championship, beginning next March.