Renault to Quit Formula One After 1997
LONDON (AP) _ Renault, which has been involved in seven world championship titles, is quitting Formula One racing at the end of next season.
The French company, whose contracts with the Benetton and Williams teams expire after the 1997 season, said Thursday it will announce plans for a new sports strategy in the next few months.
Renault, which is in line to win a fifth constructors’ title this year, said the company had achieved the goals it set on its return to top-level motor racing in 1989.
``The goal the company set itself in 1989 has been largely surpassed thanks to the know-how and commitment of the Renault Sport team,″ Renault said in a statement.
``Renault Sport will continue to operate after 1997 as an independent unit, run by Christian Contzen and Bernard Dudot.″
Renault, which ran its own team between 1977-85, has had a great influence on Grand Prix racing.
The company revolutionized engine technology by introducing supercharging, a technique copied by all its competitors, and then imposed the V10 configuration as the norm for naturally-aspirated engines.
Renault won its first Formula One title in 1992, when Williams-Renault took the first of three consecutive constructors’ titles and Nigel Mansell captured the drivers’ championship.
Alain Prost claimed the 1993 title for Williams and Michael Schumacher won 1995 when his Benetton team also took the constructors’ crown.
Renault has had 80 Grand Prix victories.