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Renault RS10 (RS10 RS11 RS12)
Category Formula One
Constructor Renault F1
Designer(s) François Castaing,
Michel Tétu,
Marcel Hubert,
Technical specifications
Chassis Aluminium monocoque
Suspension (front) Double wishbone, inboard spring/damper.
Suspension (rear) Parallel top links, lower wishbones, twin radius arms, outboard spring/damper.
Engine Renault-1.5 V6T, 1496 CC V6, Twin Turbocharged KKK Turbos 90°
Transmission 500BHP @ 11,000 RPM 6-speed Manual
Fuel ELF
Tyres Michelin
Competition history
Notable entrants Renault F1,
Notable drivers Jean-Pierre Jabouille,
René Arnoux,
Debut 1979 Monaco Grand Prix
Races Wins Poles Fastest laps
9 1 5 2
Constructors' Championships 0
Drivers' Championships 0

Developed for the 1979 Formula One season, the Renault RS10 would go on to become the first turbocharged F1 car to win a Grand Prix. This would forever change the framework of F1 as this car spurred the development of the 1980s 1,500 bhp (1,100 kW) monsters and rang the death knell for normally aspirated engines. This car, along with its predecessor, the Renault RS01, was one of the most revolutionary Grand Prix cars of all time.



RS10 from the 1979 Monaco Grand Prix.

The RS10 was designed and developed by François Castaing, Michel Tétu and Marcel Hubert and was developed from the much maligned RS01. The RS01 was conceived alongside Renault's effort to build a turbocharged Le Mans winning car. The RS01 was no more than a development mule for the 1.5-litre turbocharged engine. Jean-Pierre Jabouille with his engineering degree, mechanical aptitude and driving skill was hired to run Renault's F1 program in 1977. Jabouille worked to develop this engine over the 1977-1979 seasons. The Renault turbo effort was a joke along the paddock as the RS01 earned the moniker "Yellow Teapot" as its race would often end with the yellow car smoking and parked. It would not be long however, before the jokes and laughs along the grid turned to panic.

The RS10 was finally built in 1979 as a serious contender with a Renault Gordini 1.5-litre V6 Twin-Turbo. Where the RS10 differed from the RS01, however, was that it incorporated twin turbochargers, 6 speeds and a completely new ground effect chassis.

Racing history

The RS10 was introduced a third of the way through the 1979 season at the 1979 Monaco Grand Prix. Though reliability issues still plagued the new twin turbo, its pace made the paddock finally take notice. Through the final eight races of the season the RS10 scored five poles and one memorable home win at the 1979 French Grand Prix at Dijon. More wins would surely have followed if not for the engine troubles. Jabouille in particular saw his hard work hardly rewarded thanks to the new engine technology. His win in Dijon though, in front of home fans with an all French car/engine/team and French tyres (Michelin), was his prize for three hard years of no results.


The car and team that began as a joke quickly had the paddock scrambling. Ferrari and Brabham quickly put together a turbo program in the 80's. The other major manufactures did so as well as the turbo cars began to gain power and reliability. Soon all the major teams had turbo power. The smaller, mainly British teams lacked the funding to obtain this technology and their results suffered. The turbos became so disparagingly fast that FISA adopted a non turbo cup in 1987 known as the Jim Clark Cup.

As ground effects were perfected and the turbos started boasting 1,500 hp (1,100 kW), deadly crashes ensued. This led to turbos being banned in 1989. Sadly Renault never won a championship having pioneered this technology (they did manage 2 runner ups). Their vision in the late 70's clearly led Formula One into a new era.




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