Why Renault, you ask? Because the French manufacturer has accounted for the lion's share of the wins over the course of the past eight years. Though Renault no longer runs its own team, the prolific RS27 engine powers Red Bull, Lotus, Williams and Caterham efforts, which Renault has propelled to 59 race wins to account for 40-percent of the checkered flags of the V8 era. It's also claimed 65 pole positions, 55 quickest laps and, most notably, five driver World Championships and another five Constructors' titles.
Over the past eight years, Renaultsport has built 1,271 engines, 683 of which were used on track and another 588 on dynos. They've covered over two million kilometers (about one and a quarter million miles) and gone through over seven and a half million parts, the breakdown of which you can read in the press release below. But one thing's for sure: no matter how the next turbo/hybrid era works out, the V8 era will be one to remember – and Renault's was king of them all.
After eight seasons, the FIA Formula One World Championship will say goodbye to the 2.4 litre V8 engine formula at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
At the end of the year, the highly optimised, ultra-high output, ultra-high speed, normally aspirated engines make way for the new turbocharged 1.6 litre V6 power units in 2014.
Renault aims to end this season on a high note having become the most successful engine manufacturer of the V8 era, with five Constructors' and Drivers' titles (2006-2010-2011-2012-2013) of the possible eight crowns. With 59 wins, 65 pole positions and 55 fastest laps to date with the V8 engine, Renaultsport F1 aims to finish the era in a blaze of glory.
Renault's V8 vital statistics:
2.4 L V8 (2006 to 2013)
8 years of competition
59 wins - 40% of wins in the V8 era
65 pole positions
55 fastest laps
5 Constructors' world titles
5 Drivers' world titles
750bhp maximum power (2013 version, typical car installation, typical temp/pressure/humidity)
18,000 rpm maximum engine speed (2013 version)
95kg weight, FIA perimeter
1,271 engines built, 683 for track use, 588 for dyno use
>2 000 000 km total
>5 000 components per engine
>7 600 000 parts used
21,800 pistons used
43,200 inlet valves used
45,900 exhaust valves used
43,800 connecting-rod bolts fitted
22,000 spark plugs used
10,600 oil filters used
Personal memories of the V8
Rémi Taffin, Renaultsport F1 head of track operations
Brazil will be quite poignant. The high-revving naturally aspirated engines are all I've known in F1 – and I'm sure there will be a few in the pitlane saying the same. The V8 was the era of how to make a car faster using everything except the pure power of an engine so we've learnt a lot of different skills, such as better integration, greater fuel economy and how to use the auxiliary facets such as the exhausts to a much greater extent.
We always think about what we could have done better, but to be completely fair we have achieved a hell of a lot and we can be proud. I really think Renault and our customers showed the way to design and use an engine in its most efficient way to get the fastest car! We could argue we could have finished more races without any problems, but in the end, wins sometimes come from failures and you learn by pushing the limits.
One of my favourite memories of the period will be the 2006 season. We were up against it as we had had an engine failure at Monza and Schumacher had taken the championship lead. It was nearly impossible to recover as the Ferrari was quicker at this stage. But we kept our heads down and at the race after in Japan, we won. This time it was Ferrari's engine that blew up and we regained the championship lead before the last round in Brazil. That was a perfect example of racing to the end. These were the early days of the V8 but we already were using them at the limit and the failure in Monza just proved how close we were.
While I've enjoyed this era immensely next year will be an even greater challenge. For me, I grew up watching the turbos and it's what I dreamt of doing when I was a kid, so it will be a bit like going back in the future...!
Jean-Michel Jalinier, Renaultsport F1 President and Managing Director
The V8 era has been a particularly successful one for Renault, and one that stands up to the exceptionally high standards we set with the V10 in the 90s. We can be very proud of the 'hit' rate of wins and poles, but equally of the progress we have made, particularly under the frozen engine regulations. What is equally satisfying is the relationships we have built up with all of our teams. We have worked hard on installation to provide the most driveable engine, sacrificing outright power to enable greater integration and other benefits such as energy recovery and cooling to make the overall speed of the car quicker. To have won with four different teams and six different drivers shows the relationships have flourished.
Throughout the V8 era Renault has experienced growth outside Europe and our success in Formula 1 has supported the growing awareness and image of the brand in all the countries of conquest, which has in turn contributed to the objective of international development. Additionally, every race victory is a source of motivation for all the people working for Renault.
Now we can focus on our new challenge of 2014, with the same motivation and dedication.