Initially nicknamed the Little Yellow Teapot in the UK because of the tendency of its 1.5-litre V6 turbo engine to produce clouds of white smoke following mechanical issues, the RS01 was above all the first Renault single-seater to take part in the Formula 1TM world championship.
It was also the first time that a turbocharged engine had appeared in the history of Formula 1TM. Up to that point, competing teams used V8 and V12 engines exclusively, which were larger and used more fuel, but which were also more reliable. It was not until 1979 that Renault’s daring technological choice paid off as the technical team and Jean-Pierre Jabouille managed to tame the beast and secure Renault’s first ever pole position.