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1974 Renault Alpine A110 1800 Group 4 Works

1974 Renault Alpine A110 1800 Group 4 Works

The most famous Alpine ever made

The Renault-Alpine A110 is one of the most famous rally cars of the two-wheel-drive era. It reigned supreme in the days before the WRC became a thing and this, the 1800, built to Group 4 specifications, is the swansong of the A110 and ran in 1974 and 1975.

The original Alpine A110 was launched in 1961 as the successor of the A108 which shared parts with Renault’s Dauphine. This time by, Paul Redele and his men relied on parts from the compact Renault 8 sedan. The car had a similar design to the A108, again with a rounded nose and straight-cut rear as well as bulbous headlights.

The A110, in its later versions, claimed numerous rally wins which made Alpine the 1971 champions in the International Championship for Manufacturers. This A110 was built for the 1974 season as one of only nine works-supported cars that year. It managed a best finish of second in the Tour De Corse but proved to be overwhelmed by the newly-homologated Lancia Stratos with its mid-engine configuration.

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Renault Sport Trophy Series Scrapped After Only Two Seasons

Renault Sport Trophy Series Scrapped After Only Two Seasons

Renault’s decision could be attributed to its return to Formula One

The Renault Sport Trophy racing series made its debut in 2015 to much fanfare. One year later, the series will only finish out the 2016 season before it’s officially cancelled. The decision to cut the cord on the series comes at a point in time wherein Renault, considered as one of the most engaged and actively involved automakers in motor racing, is in the middle of reconfiguring its racing programs.

The French automaker has already exited the Formula Renault 3.5 series and with the abrupt closure of the Renault Sport Trophy, it’s once thriving Renault Sport Series program is down to Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup. That said, the series departures doesn’t mean Renault is giving up motor racing entirely. Far from it, actually, because the automaker has increased its involvement in Formula E and has even jumped back into the Formula One fray as an actual team instead of just an engine supplier for the first time in six years.

Clearly, Renault is as involved in motor racing as it has always been; it’s just shifting its priorities from running its own make-series to heading back to the glamour and prestige of Formula One while also doubling down on its commitment to Formula E.

While it’s hard to make sense of the rationale in starting a hyped racing series like the Renault Sport Trophy and then cutting the cord before it can even get off the ground, it’s just as hard to argue against that decision when Renault is boosting its involvement in Formula E and Formula One.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2016 Renault RS 16 Formula 1

2016 Renault RS 16 Formula 1

The French automaker joins the hunt for ultimate open-wheel glory

Renault’s F1 history begins in 1977, back when turbochargers were first introduced to the series. In the four decades that followed, the marque saw varying levels of involvement, both as a constructor and as an engine provider. In 2005, Spanish driver Fernando Alonso helped Renault score its first Constructor’s Championship, an achievement that was repeated the very next year. After 2006, Renault saw less success, and in 2011, the marque withdrew as a constructor. Now, after five years as an engine provider, Renault is back, announcing it will purchase the Lotus F1 Team for a full-blown constructor’s bid in 2016.

The new F1 effort is part of a comprehensive plan to revamp Renault’s motorsports programs. According to Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn, Renault Sport will be replaced by two separate entities – Renault Sport Cars and Renault Sport Racing.

Renault Sport Cars will be an evolution of Renault Sport Technologies, taking responsibility for road car development, commercialization, brand appeal, and the Renault performance vehicle portfolio, including models like the Megane RS, Megane GT, and Clio RS.

As you can probably guess, Renault Sport Racing will be the automaker’s presence on the track, with series like Formula Renault 2.0 and Renault Sport RS01 Trophy falling under its jurisdiction, as well as customer racing and rally programs.

At the center of Renault Sport Racing will be the new Formula 1 effort. This year’s Renault RS 16 F1 car is heavily based on last year’s Lotus car, which means a lot of development is needed before the marque can expect to be competitive against F1 heavyweights like Ferrari and Mercedes.

Nonetheless, the team says it’s up to the challenge, so let’s take a look at the new Renault F1 car and see how it fits into the current regulations.

Continue reading to learn more about the Renault RS 16 Formula 1.

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Renault Sport R.S. 01 Is The Best Interceptor: Video

Renault Sport R.S. 01 Is The Best Interceptor: Video

You wouldn’t want this car on your rear-view mirror

The Dubai Police Force may have one of the most impressive collection of police cars in the world, but one car that it doesn’t have at its disposal is the Renault Sport R.S. 01. Actually, no police force in the world has the R.S. 01 in its garage, but that doesn’t mean we’ll never get to see one act as a police interceptor in our lifetime.

Thankfully, Renault was game enough to play along, which brings us to this video of an R.S. 01 playing the role of a police interceptor in France. The bit is made even more awesome since Renault tapped legendary rally car driver Jean Ragnotti. Together, Ragnotti and the R.S. 01 decide to apprehend a speeding motorcyclist running at close to 143 mph.

This takes us to a breathtaking scene of the R.S. 01 speeding along the French highway, running past just about every model Renault has in its lineup on its way to capturing the delinquent rider. The video ends with the rider sitting forlorn on the sidewalk with his hands behind his back as the R.S. 01 leaves the scene like the all-conquering road sheriff that it is.

It’s a great way to showcase the capabilities of the Renault track toy, but it’s even more awesome seeing it actually look the part of a police interceptor, complete with the livery and the flashing police lights inside the front grille. Kind of makes me wonder if there’s a future wherein we see the R.S. 01 as an actual police car. That is one car you wouldn’t want to see in your rear-view mirror. Maybe it’s because of its racy appearance or the fact that it has a GT-R sourced V-6 engine that pumps out 542 horsepower to go with a weight of just 2,469 pounds.

Whatever the case may be, the R.S. 01 police interceptor is arguably the coolest “fake” police car I’ve seen in a while. And yes, that includes a lot of the cars that the Dubai Police Force has in its garage.

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Evo Drives The Renaultsport R.S. 01: Video

Evo Drives The Renaultsport R.S. 01: Video

Renault may be more associated with mainstream cars and the occasional hot hatchback, but those who really know Renault are aware that there’s more to the French automaker than meets the eye. For one, its ties to the world of motorsports racing run deep. Some people might even say that Renault is a pillar in the racing scene as it has been involved - and succeeded - in top-tier racing for decades. Just as important is the well-known belief that Renault has one of the best breeding grounds for up-and-coming racers in the entire sport. All these things make the company a titan in the field, and with creations like the 2015 Renaultsport R.S. 01 race car, it’s place in the racing world isn’t going to be forgotten anytime soon.

The R.S. 01 can be best described as a proper race car. EVO seems to agree with that assertion, which is why it dedicated its latest YouTube video solely on the high-tech racer. There are a lot of things that can be taken out of the channel’s review of the car, including the unfiltered reactions of driving the car around the race track. Those are all important items that I’m not going to spoil for anybody who plans to watch the video.

What’s important is what the R.S. 01 has meant to Renault, both as a manufacturer and as a motorsports team. Sure, the company is involved in a lot of racing disciplines, including Formula One. But for my money, the launch of the R.S. 01 back in 2014 was really the first time in a long time that people saw what the company was capable of when the challenge of building a race car was presented to it.

The results certainly speak for itself. In addition to its concept-car looks, the R.S 01 is also teaming with state of the art technology, highlighted by a carbon fiber tub that helps the car weigh just 2,425 pounds. Combine that with a NISMO-prepped, 3.8-liter, V-6 engine - the same twin-turbo engine that can be found under the hood of the Nissan GT-R - that produces more than 500 horsepower and over 443 pound-feet of torque, and you have a race car that checks off every requirement one might have for the perfect racer.

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Renault Paid £1 To Buy Back Its Lotus Formula 1 Team

Renault Paid £1 To Buy Back Its Lotus Formula 1 Team

You can’t buy much for a dollar these days, but Renault has amazingly proved otherwise. The automaker just purchased a 90-percent stake in the Lotus Formula One race team for a mere £1, or roughly $1.50.

The Lotus F1 team’s former owners, Genii Capital and Gravity Motorsports continue to hold the other 10 percent stake. However, in order for Genii to sell its majority stake in the team, it had to purchases 6,744,444 shares from Whiterock Allicance Ltd., which then allowed the company to give £98.2 million of shareholder loans to Lotus.

The business behind the purchasing is rather complicated, but will allow the Lotus F1 team to continue to operate thanks to the investments and debt relief that came with the acquisition. Lotus’ F1 team had long been searching for an investor that would help pay off its debts and allow for continued operation.

It seems Lotus lucked up with Renault coming in. The automaker has four F1 drivers’ titles under its belt, thanks to drivers Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso.

It will be interesting to see how the Lotus F1 team does this upcoming season. Stay tuned to TopSpeed for future news.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Renault Completes Lotus F1 Team Takeover

Renault Completes Lotus F1 Team Takeover

In what may very well be the worst-kept secret in Formula One today, Renault’s return to Formula One as a constructor has now been signed, sealed, and delivered. The French manufacturer and Gravity Motorsport S.a.rl, an affiliate of investment group Genii Capital SA, finally put the ink on paper, completing the former’s re-acquisition of the Lotus F1 Team Limited after only three months of negotiations between the two parties.

Details about the team, including its new name, full management structure, sponsorship partners, and driver lineup have yet to be announced. The company said that a full announcement has been scheduled to take place in Paris in February 2016. The only announcements that have been made at this point are for the positions of chairman and managing director. Those roles will be filled up by Jerome Stoll and Cyril Abiteboul, respectively.

Renault’s return to Formula One means that the manufacturer will make its F1 comeback for the first time in five years. It’s last appearance as a full-blown team came in 2010. In the same year, the team was sold to Genii Capital, which renamed it Team Lotus. Renault remained in the sport, but only serving as an engine supplier to a handful of teams, one of which was Team Lotus. The team was competitive in those years, but another Renault-powered team, Red Bull Racing, ended up dominating the sport for four straight years — highlighted by Sebastian Vettel’s four world championship wins.

But, now that it’s back as a full-fledged team, Renault will be returning to a vastly different Formula One climate, one that has been dominated by Mercedes in the past two seasons. The team will have a new set of challenges on its hands, but with the right people in place, it could return with a bang and replicate its form of the 2005 and 2006 seasons when it won its two constructors titles.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Renault Announces Formula One Return For 2016 Season

Renault Announces Formula One Return For 2016 Season

Back in September 2015, Renault announced the signing of a letter of intent with Lotus regarding the potential acquisition of a controlling stake in the British team. Three months have passed and the French company confirmed it will indeed return to Formula One as a constructor.

Renault said its takeover of Lotus had not yet been completed, but will be done "in the shortest time frame possible". More details about the brand’s new F1 program will be provided in January 2016, ahead of the 2016 season that begins next March.

"Renault had two options: to come back at 100 percent or leave. After a detailed study, I have decided that Renault will be in Formula 1, starting 2016. The final details supplied by F1’s main stakeholders gave us the confidence to accept this new challenge. Our ambition is to win — even if it will take some time,” said Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of Renault.

The manufacturer returns to Formula One as a constructor after a five-year hiatus. Renault sold the team to investment group Genii Capital in 2010, but continued as an engine supplier. The team was renamed Team Lotus and used Renault engines. Red Bull, another team that bought Renault power units, won the constructors’ championship four years in a row between 2010 and 2013. Renault’s domination as a supplier came to an end in 2014.

In 2016, Renault F1 cars will be driven by Pastor Maldonado and Jolyon Palmer, both having piloted for Lotus in 2015 as main and reserve drivers, respectively.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Chris Harris Test Drives The Renault Sport R.S. 01: Video

Chris Harris Test Drives The Renault Sport R.S. 01: Video

Chris Harris is one of the world’s most respected motoring journalists so it’s going to take a car that’s really special to get his attention. Renault seems to have one car that fits that bill, so the French automaker decided to invite Harris to race the R.S. 01 in the Renault Sport Trophy event at Silverstone.

For someone who has spent time behind the wheel of some of the fastest supercars and race cars in the world, Harris’ first impression of the R.S. 01 was music to the ears of Renault Sport. Not only was he openly gushing about the R. S. 01’s traction control and aerodynamic efficiency, he even went so far as to say that it had much better grip than any of the GT3 race cars he’s raced it in the past.

That’s high praise coming from Harris but it’s to be expected for a race car built by a company that’s been heavily invested in the highest levels of racing for decades. The R. S. 01 really is more than just a race car. Visually, it looks absolutely stunning; it’s a far cry from the company’s production models. But more important than its gorgeous aesthetics is the fact that the R. S. 01 was developed specifically to win races. It even has a Nismo-prepped, 3.8-liter, V-6 mill that’s been tuned to produce more than 500 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, all while being complimented by Renault’s robust expertise in the world of racing.

Harris may have been blown away by how R. S. 01 handled itself at Silverstone, but if the racer really is as good as advertised, Silverstone won’t be the only track where it’ll shine. If its form and development continues trending north, there might come a time when we begin talking about the R. S. 01 in historical terms.

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Renault Plans To Return To Formula 1

Renault Plans To Return To Formula 1

The ongoing saga surrounding Renault’s status in Formula One took another turn after it was announced that the French automaker has signed a letter of intent with Gravity Motorsports, an affiliate of Genii Capital SA, to acquire a controlling stake in Lotus’ F1 Team. The expected acquisition is considered the first step towards the company’s return to Formula One racing as a full-scale constructor since it sold a 75 percent stake in its old team to the Genii Capital investment company in 2009.

The automaker sold its remaining 25 percent stake to Genii in 2010. Since then, Renault turned its attention away from being a constructor, opting instead to keep its involvement in F1 as an engine supplier for a handful of teams, including Red Bull Racing, which dominated the series from 2010 to 2013.

Now it appears that Renault’s ready to throw its name back in the series as a constructor, fulfilling company CEO Carlos Ghosn’s promise that Renault would cease in its role as an engine supplier and turn its attention towards purchasing a team of its own or withdrawing from the sport entirely. The new agreement to essentially buy back the shares it sold to Genii means that the Renault’s back in business a full-scale constructor beginning in 2016.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Video: 2015 Renaultsport R.S. 01 Spied at Monza

Video: 2015 Renaultsport R.S. 01 Spied at Monza

French automaker Renault has just expanded its racing program for 2015 with yet another racing division. The new series comes with its own, exclusive race car, which, unlike other Renault Sport Technologies machines, is not linked in any way to either the Clio or the Megane. The French have developed the race car around a brand-new concept, sporting a design that’s worthy of any modern supercar. The vehicle in question is the Renaultsport R.S. 01, and it tackles race tracks with a Nismo-built, 3.8-liter, V-6 powerplant.

Revealed at the 2014 Moscow Auto Show, the race car looked simply stunning in pictures and I honestly thought its track debut couldn’t come soon enough. We’re still months away from the new series’ debut, but the R.S. 01 has already hit the track, as Renault is looking to achieve perfection before shipping it to its customers. This is great news for us racing enthusiasts, who get to see the race car in action for the very first time.

The R.S. 01 was spotted doing some high-speed laps at the Monza circuit in Italy. Finished in matte-black, the rig looks downright sinister, a feeling that’s enhanced by its high-revving six-banger. The engine may be similar to the one powering the Nissan GT-R, but the Japanese supercar sounds like a bedtime lullaby compared to the R.S. 01.

Hit the play button above to find out for yourself.

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Video: Gaming Vs Reality On The Race Track

Video: Gaming Vs Reality On The Race Track

Ant lover of racing games has wondered at on time or another just how close the game is to real racing. Imagine, taking the same car you are using in the game and putting it head-to-head with the real car on the real-life version of the track you are racing on; what a fantastic idea, right?

To date, we have never seen this test, but the folks over at Viagame did just that in order to find out which crosses the finish line first, the virtual racer or the real-life on..

To perform this crazy test, they recruited one of Sweden’s best gamers and put him in a Renault Mégane Red Bull Edition with gaming system installed in it. They then took a real-life race car driver and put him in the driver’s seat of the Renault and headed for the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona to see who wins.

Check out the above video to see who wins, it’s pretty neat to see real versus virtual in a head-to-head battle.

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2014 Spark-Renault SRT 01E Formula E Race Car

2014 Spark-Renault SRT 01E Formula E Race Car

"Next year will be a landmark year in the history of motorsports racing."

We’ve heard that sentence uttered far too many times each year and more often than not, we attribute it to nothing more than hyperbole.

But 2014 will be a landmark year in the history of motorsports racing with the introduction of the FIA Formula-E Championship, a one-make, single-seat racing series that will be competed by electrically powered race cars.

In time for its highly anticipated debut, Spark Racing Technology is using the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show to introduce the Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E race car.

The race car is expected be one of the most prominent racers in the series. It looks like any modern single-seat race car, but other than its aesthetics, a whole load of features about the Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E race car distinguishes itself from the likes of those Formula One racers.

For one, the SRT_01E will be build using a Dallara-designed monocoque chassis made out of carbon fiber and aluminum. But more importantly - and something that will be unique to the race car - the SRT_01E will be powered by a McLaren-sourced electric engine that’s capable of producing up to 270 horsepower, although that output will only be limited to 180 horsepower during races. It’s not as powerful as those F1 cars, but what do you expect with an electric engine.

Despite the lack of horses, the SRT_01E is still expected to be really quick off the block, capable of hitting 60 mph in just 3 seconds to go with an FIA-limited top speed of 140 mph.

Updated 04/30/2014: Ho-Pin Tung – the first Chinese driver to ever test a Formula 1 car - was invited to drive the new SRT_01E and apparently he was very impressed. Check out the video to see for yourself.

Click past the jump to read more about Formula-E

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2014 Renault Clio Renaultsport Cup

2014 Renault Clio Renaultsport Cup

Renault just unveiled its all-new Clio Renaultsport 200 Turbo road-going car in Paris and we all knew it was in for big things. Well, now we know exactly what plans Renault had for it, as the French automaker has announced that a racing version, the Clio Renaultsport Cup will be offered for competition in time for the 2014 British Touring Car Championship.

The Clio Renaultsport Cup will feature an Oreca Magny-Cours-tuned 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-banger that pumps out a stout 220 horsepower and 270 Nm (199 pound-feet) of torque mated to a 6-speed sequential gearbox via an AP Racing clutch. The power is delivered to the wheels via a limited-slip differential. Buyers can opt for a paddle-shift interface, if they desire.

Bringing this high-performance Clio to a halt are 320 mm (12.6-inch) AP Racing front rotors, which are squeezed by quad-piston calipers. One-way ZF-Sachs adjustable dampers are on the corners with custom-built aluminum wishbones. Also on the corners are 17-inch Speedline Corse alloy rims, wrapped in performance rubber to keep the Clio glued to the track. Keeping up with the times, Renault will fit the Clio Cup with a data acquisition system integrated into a color TFT screen, so the driver can pull all of his race data immediately.

The body boasts a large rear spoiler that puts down about 40 kg (88.2 lbs) of down-force at 125 mph, helping keep the tires on the ground at high speeds. The press car is draped in white with checkered livery, but we figure you can snag up the Clio Renaultsport Cup in a variety of color schemes.

There’s no mention of pre-installed safety equipment, so we are left to assume that this is something that you need to install to fit whichever racing series you choose to run the Clio Renaultsport Cup in.

This awesome racer will be ready for delivery in the UK in September 2013, so we have a while to wait. You’ll need all of that extra time to save up the whopping €37,800 (about $49,286 at the current rates), plus VAT, attached to this hot hatchback.

Click past the jump to read Renault’s presser.

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Video: Racecar Driver Removes His Steering Wheel at Full Tilt

Video: Racecar Driver Removes His Steering Wheel at Full Tilt

We often rave about the brass cojones that racecar drivers have, particularly rally drivers. Formula drivers, on the other hand, get very little recognition, as they drive on paved surfaces and most people think they just drive fast. In reality, these guys and gals behind these open-wheel machines have some guts themselves.

Enter in Jeroen Slaghekke, a driver of a Renault 2.0, and you have a guy that not only has the set required to race, but also to make split second decisions that could result in tragedy to avoid having to pit and lose position. The back story is that he had an electrical issue with his steering wheel that required repair, but pitting would have forced him to give up precious places in the race. So, instead of pitting, this guy removes the wheel himself at full speed, repairs the obviously simple issue, and slaps the wheel back on in time for a left turn.

We understand that these wheels are quick release and it’s just a matter of pulling a two tabs to release them, but to do this at speeds in excess of 100 mph and continue accelerating as he does it is simply incredible. We all know people that can barely drive in a straight line at 20 mph with both hands on the wheel. We bet that Mr. Slaghekke has no issue with keeping his daily driver straight.

To see this gutsy gamble, check out the above video and pay close attention to the 11-second mark.

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2012 Renault Megane RS Red Bull Racing Edition

2012 Renault Megane RS Red Bull Racing Edition

Shortly after releasing the Twingo RS Red Bull Racing RB7 and the Clio RS Red Bull Racing RB7, Renault is continuing to expand its Red Bull Racing Edition line-up with a new special edition, this time based on the Megane RS. Sales for the Renault Megane RS Red Bull Racing Edition will be available in 24 countries across Europe and will begin in late Summer 2012.

The special racing edition of the Renault Megane is painted in a very cool Etoile Black exterior color combined with the contrasting use of Renault’s Sport’s emblematic Sirius Yellow for the F1-style front blade, door mirror housings, and diffuser. There is also a black checkered flag pattern decal on the roof and a Red Bull Racing logo on the sides.

For the interior, Renault is offering Recaro bucket seats, a specific gear lever knob, and a numbered plaque. The special edition will also come with a Cup chassis, a limited slip differential, and red brake calipers as standard, as well as an R.S. Monitor that takes its inspiration from the on-board telemetry systems seen in motor racing. This system allows purists to adjust the parameters of the driver aids and benefit from the display of data on the dashboard.

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2012 Grand Prix of Monaco is in the books

2012 Grand Prix of Monaco is in the books

As always, the Grand Prix of Monaco provided a fairly spectacular showing, likely one of the few in this year’s F1 series. As most would expect, Circuit de Monaco lap-time record holder and five-time winner, Michael Schumacher took the pole position, but officials forced him back five grid positions after he caused a collision during qualifying. With the technical nature of Monaco, that pole position is very important and Schumacher’s penalty was an ominous sign that this would not be a good race, as he retired due to fuel issues 63 laps in.

Schumacher’s penalty propelled Red Bull’s Mark Webber into the pole position. Webber held onto that pole position, despite a lead change during a pit stop, and took home the checkered flag on a rain-coated Circuit de Monaco. As we said in our preview of the 2012 Grand Prix of Monaco, this race had some serious overall points influence, as the leaders were only separated by a few points each.

This victory for Webber places propels him up to a second place tie with Sebastian Vettel at 73 points and puts Fernando Alonso, who finished third, in the points lead at 76. An impressive run by Nico Rosberg placed him in second, just behind Webber, proving that his wide margin of victory in China was not just a one-time deal. This superb finish by Rosberg jumps him up two slots to fifth place overall.

From the looks of it, this season is shaping up to be a rather close points race with a few new faces near the top. Unfortunately, the leader board, for the most part, looks identical to the 2011 and 2010 seasons. The lack of parody in F1 has really been its Achilles heel in recent history. An overall points victory by Nico Rosberg would certainly be a push in the right direction for F1, so we’ll keep a close eye on his performance.

Click past the jump to see the complete placement board for the 2012 Grand Prix of Monaco and the overall points standings.

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Lotus Renault R31

Lotus Renault R31

The Lotus-Renault team became the fourth Formula One team to present their 2011 race cars to the media. The R31, as it’s being called, was presented at the pit lane of the Valencia race track ahead of its first pre-season test session that’s been scheduled for next Tuesday at the same circuit.

In addition to the presentation of the black-and-gold R31, Lotus-Renault also presented their 2011 driver line-up, featuring Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov. Together with technical director James Allison, team principal Eric Boullier, and chairman Gerard Lopez, Kubica and Petrov personally pulled the covers off of the R31, marking the return to partnership of two companies - Lotus and Renault - that last worked together in the 80s.

“Words like ‘aggressive’ and ‘innovative’ are very much in vogue in Formula One at the moment, but where the R31 is concerned we feel those adjectives are appropriate,” Allison said.

“It’s true to say that the car has been designed in an ambitious manner and a quick glance at the layout will confirm that its entire concept differs considerably, not just from last year’s car, but from any car this team has ever produced.”

Details on the Lotus Renault R31 after the jump.

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Renault F1 changes to Lotus Renault GP in 2011

Renault F1 changes to Lotus Renault GP in 2011

The shares from the Renault F1 team, which is partially owned by Genii Capital, have been sold to Group Lotus just in time for the 2011 season. This will mean that for this next season, the team will be renamed "Lotus Renault GP." The partnership has been formed for the next seven years, making sure that we will see them in Formula 1 until at least 2017.

Their new car, the Lotus Renault GP F1, will incorporate new technologies from F1 cars into Lotus road cars including hybrid technology, Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS), aero advancements, and lightweight materials. The benefits of Genii’s part-ownership will be the availability of non-F1 technologies such as lightweight braking systems, variable compression engine technology, and on board software systems.

Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar said: "I can think of no better platform for automotive brand communications than motorsport and F1. We’re well aware that there has been a lot of controversy around the usage of our brand in F1 and I’m delighted to be able to formally clarify our position: We are Lotus, and we are back."

Press release after the jump.

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2010 Dacia Duster Ice Racer

2010 Dacia Duster Ice Racer

Alain Prost, widely regarded as one of the fiercest Formula One drivers in history and the most heated rival of the late, great Ayrton Senna, is still hacking up race tracks in France these days, albeit on a much different terrain. The former Formula One Driver’s Champion’s competitive racing juices are now on full display at the Andros Trophy racing series, the national Ice Racing championship of France.

Last year, Prost raced behind the wheel of a Dacia Duster Ice Racer and proceeded to show everybody that despite his age, he still managed to finish runner-up for the season, trailing only two-time Andros champion Jean-Philippe Dayraut on-board his Fabia Skoda MKII.

This season, which is scheduled to begin on December 4th, Prost is looking to break through with his first Andros championship, and to help him achieve his goal, he’s got a brand new Dacia Duster Ice Racer waiting to be unleashed all over the icy terrains of France.

The new Duster Ice Racer underwent some engine and performance upgrades from last year’s model, giving Prost an even bigger chance to break the Skoda’s two-year stranglehold on the championship.
For one thing, the 55-year old racer is determined to prove that second place won’t be good enough this time around. “Last season, we were aware it would be tough to win the Trophée Andros with a new car, not to mention the fact that the program began at a relatively late stage” he said.

“This time round, my intention is to challenge for the title. We completed two very positive days of testing at Val Thorens last weekend. Our work on Duster has clearly paid dividends and we are convinced we have the means to make a strong start."

Head over past the jump to find out details about Prost’s new Duster Ice Racer.

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2010 Renault R30

2010 Renault R30

Renault unveiled the new 2010 R30 on Sunday at the Valencia circuit in Spain. While missing an official sponsor (ING left the team) Renault has decided to come back to the black and yellow colors used by Renault in the 1980s.

It wasn’t that long ago when Renault was embroiled in the middle of a major controversy that resulted in a ton of bad press for the team and for Formula One, prompting the French to come oh-so close to leaving F1 for good. Eventually, Renault reversed course and decided to remain in F1 and over the weekend, they unveiled they Jordan-looking 2010 Renault R30 Formula One car.

The car has been decked in a new yellow and black paint scheme similar to the Jordan F1 cars that prowled Formula One almost a decade ago. Other than new color scheme and the shark fin engine cover that`s present in the R30 – similar to what McLaren and Sauber have in their 2010 cars – Renault’s 2010 F1 car didn`t veer too far away from its predecessor, the R29.

Continued with press release after the jump.

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2009 Renault R29 F1

2009 Renault R29 F1

Better than most of your Christmas presents, tis’ the season for new F1 cars. Last week the Ferrari F60 and McLaren MP4-24 were unveiled, and now Renault has brought out its newest track car.

Like the rest of the field, the Renault F1 team will be adding the kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) to its new R29 F1 car. According to Renault, R29 will also will benefit from additional horsepower which was lost when the team took the engine freeze rules more seriously than the opposition. This meant that the cars had to run with less downforce at most of the races and, according to Renault, made the cars less competitive.

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2007 Renault R27

2007 Renault R27

The ING Renault F1 Team today signalled its arrival in Formula 1 in style, with a spectacular media presentation in front of 600 VIPs and media in Amsterdam. Winners of consecutive world championships in 2005 and 2006, the team proudly unveiled new title partner ING and the striking new livery that will adorn the R27 cars throughout the 2007 season and beyond.

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