Cyril Abiteboul has offered a defence against the Renault F1 Team’s decision to not unveil its 2020 car during the team’s new season launch earlier this week, feeling that should any team be on an optimised schedule, it’ll be the start of pre-season testing where the car should be unveiled.
Many eyebrows were raised when there was not a car on show when Renault held their pre-season launch in Paris, with only a couple of renderings on show of the R.S.20 that Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon will drive during the upcoming season.
Abiteboul, the Team Principal of the Enstone based squad, says that they are more on schedule than they were twelve months ago with the R.S.19, and that they will be unveiling their 2020 challenger on the first day of testing next week at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
“If anything we are much more on schedule than we were last year,” Abiteboul is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “You may remember that last year we invited you guys to come to Enstone and actually I mentioned how late we were. And that was a fact.
“And probably it was also something that impacted reliability at the start because, when you are late, you are reacting and it is all about trying to catch a trains that’s gone anyway. So this year we are ahead of schedule.“
‘If your Team is on Schedule, you don’t have a car waiting here’
Abiteboul said that to prevent them from unveiling a ‘fake’ car during the presentation, the team opted to only show renderings, and the first true pictures of the R.S.20 will be available when pre-season testing begins.
“No one is capable of presenting a [true] car,” said Abiteboul. “If your team is on schedule, you don’t have a car waiting here for a couple of hours or days. Your car is built and going straight to Barcelona. That is an optimised schedule.
“So on that basis, our only option was to have a fake car, a show car altered to look like this year’s car. But that is a waste of money and the results will be frankly below optimal.
“[Plus] people will always interpret based on that. So rather than that, no car. For anyone interested in the car, look at the pictures next week.”