Formula 1

Renault to ‘Look at Opportunities’ but ‘Not Desperate’ to Bring in New Customer Outfit

2 Mins read
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Despite the Renault F1 Team losing their last remaining customer at the end of next season, Cyril Abiteboul says there is no need to worry, and there is not any desperation to replace the McLaren F1 Team.

McLaren’s three-year partnership with Renault will come to an end at the conclusion of the 2020 Formula 1 season, with the Woking-based outfit being supplied by Mercedes-Benz from 2021 onwards. 

This will mean that Renault will no longer have any customer outfits running their engines, with Red Bull Racing having ended their relationship with the French manufacturer at the end of 2018 in favour of a move to Honda.

Abiteboul, the Team Principal of the Enstone-based squad, says Renault will look at the opportunities out there about possible future alliances but they will only link up with someone if it is a ‘real opportunity’ or it creates a strategic partnership.

“We know the team arrangements,” Abiteboul is quoted as saying by Crash.net.  “Lots of long-standing relationships were already in existence when we went back into the sport.

“Williams, Racing Point, they are very loyal partners to Mercedes. And the same for Haas [with Ferrari], Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Honda.  We’ll look at opportunities. We are not desperate. We will only jump on one opportunity if it’s a real opportunity or a possible strategic partnership.”

Abiteboul says there are no concerns about Renault being forced into a corner on a political level by going solo, with the Team Principal insisting they have never pushed any of their customers to go the same way as the manufacturer do.

“Maybe the problem is that we are a bit too naïve in the sport, but we never use engine supplies as a way to influence control over teams, so this doesn’t change anything,” says Abiteboul.  “The number of times we have seen McLaren or Red Bull or Toro Rosso voting in a completely different way to what we are thinking – it doesn’t remove anything.

“We need to see also how the governance is developing. The plan also presented on the governance side is giving less power to the teams, so you could argue that therefore it’s important to have a critical mass you can influence, maybe that’s something that Mercedes is considering.

“You could also argue that what is going to happen is that the FIA and Formula 1 are going to control most of the sport, full stop, so let’s not try.”

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