Cyril Abiteboul says the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team is aiming to beat the rest of the field at just eighty-five per cent capacity, both in personnel and resources, although plans are still afoot to increase the workforce levels at the Enstone-based outfit.
2018 will be the third season in Formula 1 for Renault since returning as a works team on the back of a takeover of the Lotus F1 Team, but the infrastructure has needed rebuilding, and more than a hundred new additions have arrived, with more on their way, including former FIA technical chief Marcin Budkowski, who will begin his role as executive director in April.
“Basically, the challenge I’m giving to our team, to everyone, including myself, is to be able in the medium-term future to compete with the top teams with 85% of their capability and resources,” said Abiteboul to Motorsport.com.
“That goes in terms of budget, but also in terms of headcount. I’m not trying to match what Mercedes has or what Red Bull has, just for the sake of matching.
“I’m trying also to do what they are doing in a more efficient way, which has always been the way Renault has been doing Formula 1. It can’t be an arms race.”
Abiteboul says Renault will continue to grow but at a ever-decreasing pace, mainly due to the uncertainties in 2021 over engine regulations and potential cost caps, and he does not want the team to hire and then be forced to make cuts.
“We will continue to grow, [but] we will start to slow down the pace at which we are growing, because frankly it’s been quite impressive – impressive but also challenging for everyone to manage,” said Abiteboul.
“I think we need to slow down and eventually stabilise the base, and make sure we understand what’s working, what’s not working, assess the strengths and weaknesses of our team, and still maintain some capacity to adjust, to increase activity in the areas that will be a bit weak.
“We don’t want to get to a point where I believe we would then have to go down again in the next few years, so I’m trying to make a sensible judgement of what’s sustainable for a Formula 1 team in a medium to long-term future, without jeopardising our capacity to fight for championships by 2020 or 2021.
“We think with that figure of 700 or 750 in Enstone, that will be a good ballpark figure to operate with.”