F1 2016 Team Preview: Renault

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2016 marks Renault’s full return to Formula 1 as a constructor after six years away, coming at a time when manufacturers have been uneasy about entering the series or increasing their involvement.

The decision to buy Lotus was far from an easy one. Many months of negotiations eventually ended in a deal being signed in December, securing the future of the Enstone operation.

2016 will be a year for Renault to find its feet, but with an all-new driver line-up and engine improvements in the pipeline, it should not be a total write-off.

TEAM: Renault Sport Formula 1 Team
ENGINE: Renault
CAR: Renault R.S.16

2015 STATS (as Lotus)

Races: 19
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 78
Laps Led: 0
Drivers’ Championship Positions: 11th (Romain Grosjean); 14th (Pastor Maldonado)
Constructors’ Championship Position: 6th

2016 LINE-UP

20. Kevin Magnussen (DEN)
30. Jolyon Palmer (GBR)

2015 TEAM RECAP

The off-track financial troubles that Lotus faced in 2015 were juxtaposed by some outstanding on-track success. The arrival of Mercedes as a power unit supplier gave the team a real boost, while the E23 chassis was very solid. Romain Grosjean led the team’s charge, with the highlight being an unlikely podium finish at Spa on the same weekend bailiffs had been sent to the team’s garage. Pastor Maldonado picked up points every now and then to support Grosjean, but by the end of the year, the focus was on survival.

2016 OUTLOOK

But survival is exactly what Lotus managed. Renault confirmed in December that it had taken over the team before immediately setting to work on rectifying the team. When Maldonado’s backing fell through, ex-McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen was drafted in to join 2014 GP2 champion Jolyon Palmer for his debut season. The lateness of the Renault deal may make the start of the year tough, but there is plenty of positivity at Enstone thanks to the stability offered by the French manufacturer. This year is unlikely to offer much in the way of success, but with two quick drivers and a reputation for building a good chassis, Renault will be hoping to be a part of the tight midfield fight.

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.