Despite the huge change from V10 to V8 technology for 2006, Renault sustained its momentum as the most successful engine manufacturer of the era.
After winning the 2005 title with a V10-powered Fernando Alonso, Renault F1 Team again secured the world championship crown in 2006. Using the new Renault V8 engine Alonso took seven race victories and a second championship, while a win for Fisichella helped Renault to successfully defend its constructors’ title.
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 2009 Sebastian Vettel gave RBR its first victory and earned the team runner-up spot in the constructors’ championship. In 2010 both drivers were title contenders from the start of the season. At the end of the year Vettel emerged triumphant as the youngest champion in the history of the sport, while Red Bull-Renault earned the constructors’ championship.
In 2010 Renault had begun the process of withdrawing from team ownership. The 2011 season marked the dawn of another chapter in the company’s history as it returned to its core activity of engine supply, releasing its remaining shares in the Renault F1 Team. Under its new ownership, the team was now known as Lotus Renault GP, while Renault also supplied Team Lotus with engines.
Meanwhile Sebastian Vettel proved unstoppable in the World Championship, breaking all the records as he secured his second title with four races to go. Renault also powered Red Bull Racing to a second constructors’ title.
For 2012 Renault continued its successful partnership with Red Bull, with Vettel becoming the youngest-ever triple World Champion. The team also became triple constructors’ champions, while Lotus F1 Team duly returned to its winning ways with a superb win in Abu Dhabi. Williams F1 Team came back to the Renault fold for the first time since 1997. It took just five races for the partnership to get back to top form as Pastor Maldonado secured a win in the Spanish Grand Prix. Alongside Caterham F1 Team, as Team Lotus became known, the four Renault engined teams finished in the top ten of the constructors’ championship.
If 2012 was remarkable, 2013 proved more so. Red Bull romped to the double championship crowns, the first time in over 20 years that a constructor-engine partnership had achieved such an unbroken run of success. In fact, only once in the history of the sport has a partnership achieved a similar feat (McLaren-Honda from 1988 – 1991).
With Lotus F1 Team adding a further win, Renault engines secured a total of 14 wins and 916 points in the final year of the V8.
Throughout the era, the V8 engine developed by 250 engineers at Viry-Châtillon dominated. With won five Constructors’ titles with two partners, Red Bull Racing (2010-2011-2012-2013) and Renault F1 Team (2006), over 40% of the available wins and a record number of pole positions, Renault set the bar extremely high.