Turbo-charged debut

The rules of F1 TM at the time permitted 3.0 litre engines of natural aspiration, with a clause for a 1.5 litre supercharged or turbocharged engine – but none of the other teams took up the option before Renault. Motorsport engineer André de Cortanze and driver Jean-Pierre Jabouille were tasked with designing a car based on a 1.5L version of the V6 Turbo. The result, using an aluminium chassis and a cast iron engine block (to withstand the pressures of turbocharging), debuted at the 1977 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, retiring after 16 laps. Initial criticisms were that it was cumbersome and unreliable, but the team continued its development, until success finally came.