Jack Aitken feels the current coronavirus pandemic and the downtime in Formula 1 its caused will cause the Renault DP World F1 Team to consider its options about remaining in the sport for the long term.
FIA Formula 2 racer Aitken, who left the Renault Sport Academy at the end of 2019 to join Williams Racing as their third and reserve driver, says his former team will only stay in Formula 1 for as long as it makes sense to them, and despite putting so much money into the team, they could pull the plug.
Renault will lose its one remaining customer team at the end of 2020 when the McLaren F1 Team makes the switch to Mercedes-Benz power for 2021, and Aitken believes there will be talks behind the scenes to decide whether or not it is in the best interests of the team to remain in Formula 1.
“With the exception of one or two teams that you would call the historical teams, like Ferrari, Williams and McLaren — those teams that have been in for a long time and for the foreseeable future they will be around, because their reason to be is to be in F1,” said Aitken to RACER.
“Teams like Renault are a bit more…. They may say they’re in it for the long game (but) realistically that means they’re in it for as long as it makes sense for them. The world changes pretty rapidly, as we’ve seen.
“I’ve always felt that (Renault) were committed to F1; they have put a lot of money into it, but they haven’t had the success that they’ve wanted. It’s always been something that has been hanging over the team, I think, especially recently. I’m pretty sure that the conversation is being had whether it’s worth carrying on, put it that way.
“That’s not something that is new this year — I think it’s been hanging over them for a couple of years. It’s always going to be while it’s convenient and makes sense for the parent company.”