Mark Webber's pole position today for Infiniti Red Bull Racing took Renault's total number of poles in the FIA Formula One World Championship to 209, a new record for the most pole positions held by an engine manufacturer. The previous record of 208 had been set by Ferrari.
Renault has competed in F1 since 1977 with involvement spanning the V6 turbo, V10 and V8 engine eras. To date Renault-powered cars have won 160 Grands Prix and 11 Constructors' titles, with 7 drivers using the engine en route to 10 drivers' crowns.
Rob White, Renault Sport F1 deputy managing director, commented: ‘It is tempting to say this is just a number, but it is a source of immense pride for everyone at Renault. Since 1977 we have been able to consistently power cars to pole position, demonstrating not just the overall strength of the expertise within the group, but our ability to work with the teams to create fast cars. Our ethos has always been to provide the means for the chassis teams to be able to design the best car they can, with as few compromises as possible. We've kept this tradition from the very first V6 to the final V8 that will race for the last time just a few weeks from now. To get this record gives us even more motivation to maintain our success rate into the challenging era of the new generation 2014 V6 turbo.'
Renault: Record breakers!
Renault has competed in Formula 1 since 1977, with its engines contesting 514 races to date. Over 40% of those races have seen a Renault-powered car start from the front spot on the grid. When compared to the current engine manufacturers, Ferrari's strike rate is 23% and Mercedes' 28%.
The first pole position was scored by Jean-Pierre Jabouille in the Renault RS01 at South Africa in 1979.
50 of the 209 pole positions were won with the 1.5 V6 litre turbocharged engine, which raced from 1977 to 1986. 44 were won with the 3.5 l V10 from 1989 to 1995 and 53 with the 3.0 l V10, which has had two periods of competition, from 1995 – 1997 and then from 2002 – 2005. The 2.4 l V8, which entered competition in 2006, has started from pole 62 times so far.
8 world champions have secured pole positions with Renault in championship-winning years: Prost, Mansell, Senna, Schumacher, Hill, Villeneuve, Alonso and Vettel.
Sebastian Vettel has scored 20% of Renault's pole positions.
6 different teams have scored pole positions with Renault engines (Elf Renault, Lotus, Williams, Benetton, Renault F1 Team and Red Bull Racing).
2011 saw the Renault-powered Red Bull Racing RB7 start from pole for 18 of the 19 races, a new record in F1.
The Renault V8 has scored 62 pole positions since 2006. That's 44% of the available poles!
The Renault V10 dominated the 1990s world championships. Between 1992 and 1997 it was on pole for 77 races, almost 80% of the GPs held.