Formula 1: The two team names we’ve seen the last of

Esteban Ocon, Renault, Formula 1 (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)
Esteban Ocon, Renault, Formula 1 (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images) /

Joining the likes of Toro Rosso, Sauber and Force India, we have likely seen the last of the team names Renault and Racing Point in Formula 1.

The 2020 Formula 1 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix marked the final race of the foreseeable for two of the sport’s 10 active team names.

The names Racing Point and Renault will not compete in 2021.

Racing Point owner Lawrence Stroll led a consortium and made a £182 million investment into British automobile brand Aston Martin to take a 16.7% stake in the manufacturer, and his team will become the works Aston Martin team beginning next year. Stroll has also become the executive chairman of Aston Martin.

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Aston Martin have not competed in Formula 1 since their brief two-year stint in 1959 and 1960 saw them run five races. Lance Stroll, Lawrence’s son, is set to compete for the team alongside four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel in 2021. Vettel is set to replace Sergio Perez after leaving Ferrari, with Perez moving to Red Bull as Alexander Albon’s replacement.

As for Renault, new Renault Group CEO Luca De Meo has reorganized the company with the goal of placing a sharper focus on the brands of Renault, Dacia, Alpine and New Mobility. Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul has landed the task of elevating Alpine, which currently produces the A110 sportscar, and the team are set to run using that name.

French national colors red, white and blue are slated to replace the yellow and black of the team’s current color scheme. Chassis produced by the team will be classified as Alpines, although the Renault name is slated to remain with the team as they run Renault E-TECH hybrid engines.

Esteban Ocon is set to compete for the team alongside two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, who is slated to come out of retirement next year. Alonso is set to replace the McLaren-bound Daniel Ricciardo. Ricciardo is set to replace Carlos Sainz Jr., who is set to replace Vettel at Ferrari.

This marks five name changes among the sport’s 10 teams in recent years, although those five changes have been made across four, not five, teams.

After the 2017 season, Sauber became Alfa Romeo Sauber, and after 2018, the historic Sauber name was completely dropped in favor of Alfa Romeo Racing.

During the 2018 season, Force India were sent into administration and purchased by a Stroll-led consortium. They operated as Racing Point Force India throughout the rest of the year before becoming Racing Point in 2019. Most recently, prior to the 2020 season, Toro Rosso were rebranded as AlphaTauri.

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The Australian Grand Prix is scheduled to open up the 2021 Formula 1 season at Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit on Sunday, March 21.