© Renault Sport F1, 12 October 2013
|© AP Photo/Luca Bruno
Mark Webber’s pole position at the Japanese Grand Prix for Red Bull took Renault’s total number of poles in Formula 1 to 209, a new record for the most pole positions held by an engine manufacturer. The previous record of 208 had been set by Ferrari.
Renault has competed in F1 since 1977 with involvement spanning the V6 turbo, V10 and V8 engine eras. To date Renault-powered cars have won 160 Grands Prix and 11 constructors’ titles, with seven drivers using the engine en route to ten drivers’ crowns.
Renault: Record breakers
- Renault has competed in Formula 1 since 1977, with its engines contesting 514 races to date. Over 40 percent of those races have seen a Renault-powered car start from the front spot on the grid. When compared to the current engine manufacturers, Ferrari’s strike rate is 23 percent and Mercedes’ 28 percent.
- The first pole position was scored by Jean-Pierre Jabouille in the Renault RS01 at South Africa in 1979.
- 50 of the 209 pole positions were won with the 1.5 V6 litre turbocharged engine, which raced from 1977 to 1986. 44 were won with the 3.5 litre V10 from 1989 to 1995 and 53 with the 3.0 litre V10, which has had two periods of competition, from 1995 – 1997 and then from 2002 – 2005. The 2.4 l V8, which entered competition in 2006, has started from pole 62 times so far.
- Eight world champions have secured pole positions with Renault in championship-winning years: Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell, Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel.
- Sebastian Vettel has scored 20 percent of Renault’s pole positions.
- Six different teams have scored pole positions with Renault engines (Elf Renault, Lotus, Williams, Benetton, Renault F1 Team and Red Bull Racing).
- 2011 saw the Renault-powered Red Bull start from pole for 18 of the 19 races, a new record in F1.
- The Renault V8 has scored 62 pole positions since 2006. That’s 44 percent of the available poles!
- The Renault V10 dominated the 1990s world championships. Between 1992 and 1997 it was on pole for 77 races, almost 80 percent of the GPs held.
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