Another example of Renault’s capacity for technical innovation, RS 10 with an RS11 chassis recorded the first Formule 1 victory for a turbocharged engine.
Renault, a forerunner in the use of turbo technology
In the 1977 English Grand Prix at Silverstone, Renault took a bold step: for its first outing in Formule 1, the company dispatched a car fitted with a 1,500 cc turbocharged engine. The other teams were still hanging onto the alternative allowed by the regulations, 3 litre engines which were heavier but more reliable and easier to control. It would take two years for the Renault Sport engineers to overcome all the problems associated with the turbo engine.
A bright future for turbo
Their commitment was rewarded on 1 July 1979 at the French Grand Prix in Dijon-Prenois: Jean-Pierre Jabouille, after having claimed pole-position, outflanked the Ferrari of Gilles Villeneuve throughout the race and was the first over the finish line!
René Arnoux finished 3rd in the RS12 chassis. Renault’s first F1 victory was also the first victory for a single-seater with a turbo engine. The other teams wasted no time in adopting this technology, and turbos were soon in use across the whole of the starting grid.