Our first steps in Formula One
Renault Sport was officially founded in 1976 while a single-seater competition programme was launched: Formula 2, Sport Le Mans, then Formula One in 1977. Renault started out in Formula One as a team. The brand led the way with a key innovation: the turbo. While its competitors used naturally-aspirated engines, Renault lined up a V6 turbocharged powerhouse. At the same time, Didier Pironi and Jean-Pierre Jaussaud won the 1978 24 Hours of Le Mans in their Alpine-Renault A442B, powered by the Renault V6 turbo engine. The diamond brand got its first Formula One win in 1979, at the French Grand Prix, with Jean-Pierre Jabouille behind the wheel of the RS11.
In the early 1980s, Renault won 15 Grands Prix and finished second in the 1983 World Championship thanks to Alain Prost, before withdrawing from the competition at the end of the 1985 season. Renault's gamble with the turbo engine, which nobody believed in at the time, really paid off.