The coveted Renault RS27-2011 engine which Williams will use next year
Williams F1 have announced that they will switch to using Renault engines from the start of the 2012 season.
This will cause quite the case of nostalgia for the sport’s more experienced fans, as the last time Williams and Renault teamed up were the glory days of 1989-1997. In this time, the team won 5 constructor’s titles and 4 driver’s championships.
This new deal will cover 2012 and 2013. With the engine regulation change set for 2014, talks are already underway to extend the contract past this time.
Frank Williams has stated:
We are delighted and excited by our new partnership with Renault. This reunites the
F1 team with a leading car manufacturer and complements our new relationship with
At the same time, we are grateful to Cosworth: they have been a fair and reliable
partner both on and off the track for the past two years and we look forward to
working with them across our business in the future.
Our previous relationship with Renault was one of the most successful in Williams’
history but we will not allow ourselves to dwell too much on the past.
We must look to the future and continue to re-build our on-track reputation, which
I am hopeful that today’s announcement will help us to do.
Apart from Williams themselves, who will now use the same power plant as world champions Red Bull, the biggest winner here is Renault. The French manufacturer will now supply engines to 4 teams next year, a third of the entire grid.
On the other hand, Cosworth have now been dealt a huge blow, with Virgin and HRT now their only customers, which will do them no good for their image.
Over the last few years, it has been believed that Renault have been allowed to make minor modifications to their engine package, despite the engine freeze since 2008. These changes were to balance the power output between their engines and those of Mercedes.
However, since the refuelling ban last year, it has emerged that the Renault engine is much more conservative in terms of fuel efficiency. It is claimed that teams with Renault engines can run with 10kg less fuel than their rivals (excluding modifications which increase fuel consumption, such as hot blown diffusers).