Although Renault's involvement in F1 has been off and on, they competed in their first race in 1977 when they entered one car driven by Jean Pierre Jabouille for the British Grand Prix. Although Renault are credited with introducing the first turbo charged engine into F1, the turbo was the cause of Jabouille's retirement from the race. Nicknamed the "Yellow Teapot", it was highly unreliable and failed to finish any of its faces that season. Although Renault as a team can be credited with just two constructors' championship they have also contributed to five further drivers' titles and six more constructors' crowns as an engine supplier to Benetton and Williams.
Renault persisted with the turbo charged engine, and in 1978 Jabouille finally scored points finishing fourth in the American Grand Prix at Watkins Glen. Their continued persistence paid off when Jabouille scored the first win for Renault and for a turbo-charged engine at the 1979 French Grand Prix, team mate Rene Arnoux finished third. They finished the seasons sixth in the constructors' standings.
Alain Prost joined the team in 1982; by 1983 he has scored four wins for the team which saw them finishing second in the championship.
In 1985 Renault withdrew from F1 as a constructor but remained as an engine supplier for Lotus, but the following year they withdrew completely from the sport.
In 1989 they returned as engine supplier for Williams, they also started to supply engines for Benetton. The 90s are often referred to as Renault's golden years in the sport, powering Williams to three constructors' championships between 1992 and 1994 and again in 1996 and '97. In 1995 the Renault-powered Benetton clinched the crown.
Despite this success in 1997 Renault once more withdrew from the sport, but in 2000 they bought the Benetton team, before rebranding as the official Renault team in 2002.
Although they enjoyed a strong return season with a run of points securing them fourth in the championship, they struggled to compete against the top teams. Despite Fernando Alonso taking two poles and one win, they finished fourth in 2003.
Despite victory for Jarno Trulli won at the 2004 Monaco Grand Prix, Renault parted company with him over disappointing results.
In 2005 Renault finally began to regularly claim top position finishes, they dominated the series winning both drivers' and constructors' honours. Alonso became the youngest-ever champion and Renault the first mainstream car manufacturer to win the constructors' championship. The pairing retained both titles in 2006, but at the end of the season Alonso left the team for McLaren.
Alonso's departure saw a downturn in the team's fortunes, however rookie replacement Heikki Kovalainen overshadowed veteran Giancarlo Fisichella scoring the teams' only podium in Japan.
Alonso returned to the team in 2008, this time with a new partner Nelson Piquet Junior and the team were soon back on the podium with back-to-back victories in Singapore and Japan; they finished fourth in the tables.
Despite an unchanged lineup for 2009 they failed to match the performance of the previous years. Much of the team's poor performance was blamed on the underperforming Piquet who was dropped from the team after the Hungarian Grand Prix and replaced by rookie French driver Romain Grosjean.
It was then Piquet Jnr dropped his bombshell, telling the FIA that he had been asked to crash deliberately in order to help Alonso win the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. "Crashgate" filled the papers' back and front pages for weeks - in the end it was team principal Flavio Briatore and technical director Pat Symonds that took the hit. Briatore was banned for life from motorsport and Symonds for five years. The team were also banned, although the punishment was suspended for two years.
In Briatore's wake Bob Bell took over as acting team principal but the damage had long been over for Renault. Grosjean failed to score a single point and the team finished eighth in the championship.