Renault has always been an engine builder and a constructor in Formula One since 1977. They were the pioneers of the turbo engines in Formula one. They withdrew as a constructor in 1985 but continued supplying engines to other constructors till 1986 and from 1989 to 1997 until they returned as a constructor again in 2000 after acquiring the Benetton Formula team. They raced with the same name till 2002 before renaming it to “Renault F1 Team” and using Renault as their constructor name.
Jenson Button and Jarno Trulli were their drivers until they replaced Button with Fernando Alonso who got Renault a podium finish after 20 years in 2003 at the Hungaroring in Hungary. That is the point where Renault felt that they are going towards a good development route.
2004 was a controversial year for the French team with the rumours that Flavio Briatore was in favour of Alonso and had a bad relationship with Jarno which caused them to lose their place in the constructors championship. It eventually lead to Jarno moving to Toyota at the end of the season which meant the Renault had to find a replacement and they got Jacques Villeneuve to do that but he hadn’t raced for almost a season which meant that he couldn't keep up and couldn’t finish second, losing a position.
Giancarlo Fisichella was brought onboard to replace Trulli. Whilst Alonso managed to stay at the front of the grid and tables through the season, Giancarlo struggled to finish races. The Renault lost the constructors title due to that but Alonso won the Drivers Title and got Renault glory.
After that season came, what is probably one of Formula 1’s greatest rivalries between Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso after dethroning Schumacher off his World Championship title in 2005, Schumacher was quite unhappy with how the Ferrari was performing on Bridgestone tyres. During the 2006 season, Schumacher was all set to have a championship title before retiring but his car having engine failures and a tire burst cost the Italians a Championship title and a constructors title.
Fernando Alonso the most successful driver for the Renault F1 team bagged his second World Championship title in 2006 before moving onto the Mclaren Mercedes team in 2007. The 2007 season saw Giancarlo Fisichella and Heikki Kovalainen drive for the french team.
Fernando Alonso joined the team back in 2008 alongside Nelson Piquet Jr. and continued with the team till 2009.
In 2010 the drivers for the team were Robert Kubica and the Russian driver Vitaly Petrov.
The team signed with Lotus Cars and sold 25% of their stakes to them under a sponsorship deal and went on to be called Lotus Racing in 2011 with Romain Grosjean and Nick Heidfeld driving for the team. In 2012 Kimi Raikkonen replaced Nick Heidfeld in the team.
They had a considerate form until 2016 where Jolyon Palmer had a bad season and was replaced by Carlos Sainz from Toro Rosso and Nico Hulkenberg replaced Kevin Magnussen from Sahara Force India.
The Renault Team has one 2 Constructor Championships and Two Drivers championships till date, with 35 victories. They are currently 6th in the 2018 Constructors championship with Carlos Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg still driving for them.