Renault DP World has a something special planned for the 2020 Abu Dhabi GP
After more than 40 years in Formula 1, the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be the final race for the Renault team name before it hands the baton to sister brand Alpine for the 2021 season
In its four-decade-long Formula 1 innings, Renault has bagged two Drivers’ and two Constructors’ World Championship titles, along with 35 race wins and 399 race starts. Hence to celebrate its long and storied heritage, the Renault DP World Formula 1 team will showcase a remarkable demonstration run linking past, present and future. To that end, two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso will be reunited with his championship-winning 2005 R25 car at Yas Marina Circuit for three celebration runs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, ahead of his 2021 return.
Anticipating the running of the famed racer, Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal, Renault DP World F1 Team said, “It’s very emotional to see the R25 run in anger once again, and having Fernando at the wheel is the cherry on the cake. The car-driver partnership was a classic time in F1 and remains one of Renault’s proudest achievements in motorsport. While the car is a symbol of our past achievements, Fernando reflects our strong ambition to keep pushing for more success and recapture those incredible moments and emotions. Of course, any results will now be under the Alpine name but our future success will all be homage to this amazing time in Renault’s F1 history.”
More about the Renault R25
Regarded as one of the most remarkable cars in the history of Formula 1, instantly recognisable courtesy its sharp chassis design and distinctive blue and yellow livery. The R25 is powered by the iconic Renault 3-litre naturally aspirated V10 engine mated to a 6-speed sequential semi-automatic gearbox, and made between 900 and 950bhp (at a staggering 19,000rpm) in race tune. It dominated the 90s and early noughties.
Across the 19-race 2005 season, Fernando and teammate Giancarlo Fisichella scored eight wins, including a poignant victory at the team’s home race in France, seven pole positions and 18 podiums to give Renault its first Constructors’ championship and Fernando his first Drivers’ title. Further, Fernando repeated the feat, bagging the title in 2006 as well, with seven wins and 14 podiums in a total of 18 races.
Now, 15 years later, the R25 will run again after a remarkable restoration from Renault Sport Racing’s Enstone and Viry sites and industry specialists Rennwerk Company, based in Germany. Last used for a demo run in 2006, the R25 was stored as part of the Renault Classic collection until a project to restore the ‘Beast’ to its full glory got underway in 2018.
The project to restore the chassis started in 2019 with Rennwerk. Plans were made to run the car in the 2020 French Grand Prix, however they were put on ice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Restarted in October 2020, more than 50 man-hours of engine revision at Viry were necessary. Just two weeks later, the V10 roared into life at the Rennwerk workshop and by mid-November the R25 had completed an astonishing first run at the La Ferte Gaucher circuit just outside Paris.