RENAULT motor sport has ended 2005 on a High--the company has the world's top Formula 1 racing driver in Fernando Alonso, as well as the constructor's championship.

But, winning the two championships will not be enough once the feeling of euphoria is replaced by reality--the millions of dollars invested in the Renault Formula 1 team will have to start translating into greater market share.

Renault executives have said publicly that the real objective of the company's participation in Formula 1 is to turn this success into a tool for enhancing the image and awareness of the Renault brand.

The company's web site proclaims "Formula 1 is continuing its global expansion, and this is strengthening Renault's commitment to the sport. Formula 1 is a major priority for Renault: the technology developed by the Renault F1 Team is already inspiring vehicles in the range, and producing clear benefits by raising the brand's profile."

So what's at stake in the months ahead? Renault F1 Team President Patrick Faure explains. "Our titles have been won by an international team with a French heart. It is a fantastic advertisement for French engineering excellence that will accompany Renault in its expansion around the globe. Now, we must exploit these titles at every level of the company. The hardest work has been done in winning the championship. Now we need to move to the next stage, initially in our communication but then at the tens and thousands of Renault points of sale around the globe, to explain our success to our customers and reflect the enhanced image Formula 1 success has brought. Success is not an end in itself, merely a beginning ..."

But, if Renault's marketing campaigns are to be founded on Formula 1 record, then the company had better keep winning.

As the chassis race team returned to Enstone, and brought the 2005 season to a close with a well-earned celebration, technicians began laying up carbon fiber 'plies' in the moulds of ... the R26. Formula 1 never sleeps, and the transition was immediate. What's more, it carries a powerful message: there is never time to rest on your laurels. So just as the team must continue moving forward, so too the focus of its management is now firmly on the future.

"We can absolutely repeat our success in 2006," says Bob Bell, Technical Director at Enstone. "We have no intention of making the same errors as some other teams have made in the past. There is no arrogance about our position, and we never take anything for granted. I think that happened to Ferrarl at the start of this season, while McLaren clearly underestimated us at the end. But that won't be our attitude this year. Our objectives will be set, and it will be a question of hard work to ensure we deliver them."

COPYRIGHT 2005 Diesel & Gas Turbine Publications
COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning


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