Williams and Renault have struck a deal that would see the Formula 1 team use the latter’s engines starting next season. This move revives the “Williams Renault” name that should be no stranger to F1 fans – Renault supplied factory engines to Williams from 1989 to 1997, and that fruitful collaboration (Red Bull’s ace designer Adrian Newey was in the mix, too) won four drivers’ and five constructors’ titles.

Fans would remember the glory days of the Camel/Canon sponsored car and the famous Rothmans liveried Williams, but the car of today, which uses Cosworth’s V8, is no longer a front runner. Will this reunion power them up the field again?

“Our previous relationship with Renault was one of the most successful in Williams’ history but we will not allow ourselves to dwell too much on the past. We must look to the future and continue to re-build our on-track reputation, which I am hopeful that today’s announcement will help us to do,” said team principal Frank Williams, who also thanked Cosworth for being “a fair and reliable partner both on and off the track for the past two years”.

Co-owner Patrick Head shared a bit more. “A lot of these engines are very close in their ultimate performance, some of their characteristics will vary quite a bit. With Team Lotus one can see changing with engine, it didn’t light their performance up. We are never a team that looks for excuses but if someone says how much (of the deficit) is in the car and how much in the engine, the difficulty with the current engine and with the other teams running it,” he said.

“With the Renault engine in the back of a car from Milton Keynes at the moment, if someone went around saying it is not a decent engine… The Renault engine seems to be very good across the board,” he added, referring to champs Red Bull.

This deal is for seasons 2012 and 2013, with an option to continue when V6 engines are introduced in 2014. With Williams on board, Renault will be powering four teams on the 2012 grid, including Red Bull, Team Lotus and Lotus Renault GP.