This month, Andrew Noakes looks at F1's turbocharged past.
Andrew NoakesMotoring Writer
Andrew Noakes studied automotive engineering before deciding that writing about cars was more fun. He was technical editor of Fast Car magazine in the 1990s and then founded the award-winning classic car mag Classics. Since then he has written more than a dozen car books, and alongside that lectures in automotive journalism at Coventry University. Obsessed with fine engineering, he drives a car with what he says is "one of the greatest engines of its time, or any other": a BMW E46 M3.
Turbo engines take over in F1 next year thanks to a regulation change that takes the sport back to the future. It's exactly 30 years since the world championship was first claimed by a turbo-powered driver.
Turbos first appeared in F1 in 1977. It was Renault who first realised the potential of an exhaust-driven turbocharger to take on normally-aspirated engines. Renault won Le Mans in 1978 with a V6 turbo sports car, and powered Jean-Pierre Jabouille to the first turbo F1 win at Dijon in France in 1979. The Frenchman was chased home by an epic battle between Gilles Villeneuve's 3.0-litre Ferrari and Renault teammate René Arnoux.