|Formula One World Championship|
|Constructors||Equipe Renault Elf|
|Drivers||15. Alain Prost
16. Eddie Cheever
|Debut||1983 United States Grand Prix West|
The Renault RE40 was a Formula One racing car. It was designed by Michel Tétu, under the direction of Bernard Dudot, and with aerodynamics by Jean-Claude Migeot, as Renault's car for the 1983 Formula One season.
For 1983 Ground effect had been banned so the new RE40 had to be designed with a flat bottom. To help regain lost downforce enlarged front and rear wings were used. Suspension was by double wishbones with pull-rod actuated dampers on all four corners. The chassis was the first built by Renault to be made entirely out of carbon fibre. Due to recent accidents and the relative infancy of carbon fibre in Formula One the chassis was overbuilt to ensure strength, resulting in it being bulkier than would be ideal. The RE40 was designed to suit lead driver Alain Prost's driving style.
Inside the chassis was the latest version of the Renault Gordini EF1 turbocharged 1.5-litre V6 engine, first introduced in 1977. It was now constructed from aluminium alloys, further reducing its weight to 170 kg. Four belt-driven overhead camshafts were used to actuate the four valves per cylinder. One KKK turbo was mounted on either side of the engine. Althought Renault said it produced a modest 640 bhp, while in qualifying trim it could produce up to a claimed 880 bhp.
Alain Prost scored consistently throughout the season and took four wins. He led the drivers' championship for most of the season, ahead of Ferrari drivers René Arnoux and Patrick Tambay, and the 1981 World Champion Nelson Piquet in the Brabham-BMW, but at the final round in South Africa the turbo in Prost's car failed and Piquet won the title by two points. The turbochargers proved themselves to be the RE40's weakness all through 1983, and on numerous occasions turbo troubles ended Prost or Cheever's race. Alain Prost later recalled that "that year there was a good turbo to have and a bad one. We had the bad one".
The RE40 was best suited to faster tracks such as Spa, Silverstone, the Österreichring and Monza (Prost would only fail to win Monza where he recorded a DNF), however Prost made the best of his car and team and won more races than any other driver during the year. Team mate Cheever also scored several podiums and was in line for victory on more than one occasion.
Complete World Championship resultsEdit
(key) (note: results shown in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)