Last year, it was announced that teams would be permitted to use three MGU-H, ICE and turbocharger units, whilst only two MGU-K, control electronics and energy store units throughout the whole season. Exceeding this number on any part will incur a grid penalty.
The move was made to reduce costs and encourage more economic engines, but Abiteboul is one of many opponents – Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner labelled the decision as “barking mad” – and believes that the ruling could be overturned before the start of the season.
“It’s a headache but it’s a known headache,” said Abiteboul, speaking to Sky Sports News.
“We knew that it was coming so we have built our plans and strategy accordingly. Right now there is nothing to indicate that we can’t stick to this plan.
“Having said that, I still don’t believe it’s the right thing for Formula 1 and will still have another go [to change it] in the upcoming discussions with FIA and FOM and other teams because I don’t think it really makes sense for anyone.”
Alongside Honda, Renault Sport struggled with reliability throughout 2017 – with customers Red Bull and Scuderia Toro Rosso taking the hardest hits. At the Mexican Grand Prix, four out of five retirements were Renault powered cars.
In order to prevent extortionate grid penalties, the demotion has been capped at 15 places, any further transgressions will warrant a drop to the back of the grid.