Cyril Abiteboul has revealed that talks have taken place between Renault and the McLaren F1 Team about a possible engine supply from the 2018 season, but they are reluctant to add a fourth team to its existing line-up.
Relationships between McLaren and their current engine suppliers Honda have been rocky, and in the third year of the partnership they have still to finish on the podium, with criticism coming about both the performance and reliability of the power unit.
However, Renault already supply the works Renault Sport Formula 1 Team as well as both Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso, with managing director Abiteboul valuing the relationship they have with the two Red Bull teams, with him feeling that adding a fourth team could do more harm than good, as it could degrade the level of service currently in place.
“The situation is that we have multi-year contracts with Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso, so frankly we are open to discussions,” said Abiteboul during the FIA Press Conference on Friday. “I can confirm that there has been discussion with McLaren.
“But as you mentioned at the end, right now there is a restriction in the regulation, if we wanted to supply more than three teams first. And in addition to that, I don’t think it would be reasonable to believe that we could supply more than three without degrading the level of service, the quality of the service for the other teams, so we’ve had discussions.
“Frankly, again, we have contracts in place. We value the relationship with Red Bull. It’s a longstanding relationship and we would like to carry this relationship until it’s term in 2020 but if there is something to be done, why not, but right now understand that things are very quiet and certainly we are not necessarily proactively pushing for anything.”