Abiteboul Expecting ‘Interesting Season’ with ‘High Maintenance’ Customers

Renault will supply both Red Bull and McLaren in 2018
Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Cyril Abiteboul admits Renault Sport having both the Red Bull Racing and McLaren F1 Team’s as customer teams in 2018 will bring additional challenges, particularly due to just how ‘high maintenance’ they will be.

Renault’s relationship with Red Bull has often been strained during the V6 Hybrid era, with Christian Horner publicly criticising their engine supplier for a lack of competitiveness and reliability, while sister team Scuderia Toro Rosso also had problems with the French manufacturer during 2017.

Toro Rosso has switched to Honda-power in 2018, with McLaren going the other way, and Abiteboul, the Team Principal of the works Renault Sport Formula 1 Team, says it will be an interesting challenge to provide power units to their customers, but one he is looking forward to.

“Actually, I think there is more positives than there is some negative in those relationships, even though I accept it’s going to be high maintenance and going to be an interesting season to manage,” said Abiteboul to Motorsport.com.

“I think it’s interesting because it’s challenging – but at the same time it’s providing motivation to everyone. There is clearly pride to be supplying engines to other great teams and their fantastic drivers.

“Also, I believe McLaren has a wealth of experience and can show us the way to push our engine, but also new ways of making sure we have a winning package.  Frankly I’m looking forward to it. It’s good to be in a competitive environment, but it’s also good to be challenged.”