Renault return to the birthplace of F1 turbo power

British GP winning drivers join Romain Grosjean at Silverstone, Silverstone, England, Thursday 15 May 2014.

The first F1 turbo engine project

Turbos will return to Silverstone for first time in 25 years this year. In 1977 Renault created F1 history when it debuted the revolutionary and highly experimental RS01 engine at the British GP on 17 July 1977.

It became the first-ever manufacturer to race a turbocharged car in the championship. An option for 1.5-litre V6 turbocharged engines has been in the rules for many years but most teams were running 3.0-litre normally aspirated engines.

Frenchman Jean-Pierre Jabouille became the first driver to ever compete in a championship race with the EF01 turbocharged engine locked into the back of the distinctive yellow and white car.

Jean-Pierre Jabouille drives the turbo powered Renault RS01 at the 1977 British Grand Prix

Jean-Pierre Jabouille drives the turbo powered Renault RS01 at the 1977 British Grand Prix

The car retired after 16 laps but not before it had made a big impression. Just two years later the RS01 scored its first win on home ground in the 1979 French GP at Dijon.

A move to twin turbos, improvements in cooling and reductions in vibrations and friction allowed power and speeds to reach unprecedented levels, with more than 1,000 bhp seen on race day and 1,300bhp in qualifying by the mid-80s – just seven years after the turbo made its first appearance at Silverstone. (Renault)