F1 News: Renault had "no interest" in F1 future if rules didn't change

Renault Formula 1 boss Cyril Abiteboul admits the manufacturer would have had "no interest" in continuing as a "second tier" player had the category's rules not undergone change for 2021

F1 News: Renault had "no interest" in F1 future if rules didn't change

Last week interim CEO Clotilde Delbos moved to address doubts about the company's future in F1 by confirming that it remains committed, while emphasising that the reduced cost cap limits that begin in 2021 played a crucial role in the decision to stay.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck Renault had spent some months conducting a review of all its operations, including motor sport activities.

The end of the current Concorde Agreement and lack of any commitment to engine customers from 2021 in theory gave Renault an opportunity to walk away.

Last week the company announced that it would cut 15,000 jobs worldwide as part of an attempt to save €2bn, but Delbos confirmed that the racing programme would continue to be a key part of its marketing strategy.

"There's been lots of speculation regarding Renault's commitment in F1," Abiteboul told Autosport.

"I think clearly she's put a stop to the speculation, and that was necessary.

"Obviously there was an announcement of major plans, a review of the way the company was operating, the priorities of the company, and therefore I guess there was some speculation that F1 could be seen as an opportunity to save costs.

"But actually she has made it clear that it's not just a cost, but also an investment, and the costs associated with that investment were becoming better and better, and not just because of the last regulations.

"Frankly it's an ongoing process, it's not just the process and the announcements of last week.

"The process started basically when we came back in 2016. It was our expectation then that at some point there would be some financial regulations containing the arms race, and also on the engine side and so on and so forth.

"We've been driving and lobbying for that since that point, and clearly with the recent announcements there was no reason not to make it clear that Renault is fully committed."

Abiteboul says that the F1 team management has been in continuous contact with the top executives about the future regulations.

"We have a very regular opportunity to meet with the executive management of Renault," he said.

"We are very frequently reporting on what's going on in our world, which is a world that is very different from the road car business.

"Again, last week was not a one-off. We have had multiple occasions to exchange about the direction F1 was taking, from the strategic perspective, but also in terms of marketing, in terms of what is being done to make the show better, to make the marketing platform more valuable, and also to make the cost more reasonable - not just the cost to participate, but also the cost to be competitive.

"Because at the end of the day that's what we want, we want to be competitive, and it was very clear that in the current set-up there is absolutely no possibility to move from the second tier into the first tier.

"We had absolutely no interest to be part of that. But the budget cap is changing that, and the technical regulations are changing that."

shares
comments
F1 News: Italian GP deal extended by an extra year to 2025

Previous article

F1 News: Italian GP deal extended by an extra year to 2025

Next article

New F1 Calendar: When and where Formula 1 will race in 2020

New F1 Calendar: When and where Formula 1 will race in 2020
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Renault F1 Team
Author Adam Cooper
The driver problems facing Mercedes in 2021 Plus

The driver problems facing Mercedes in 2021

Ahead of the new Formula 1 season, reigning world champions Mercedes will take on challenges both old and new. This also can be said for its driver conundrum which could become key to sustaining its ongoing success

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front Plus

How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front

A new name, new faces and new colours pulls the rebranded Alpine Formula 1 team into a new era while carrying over core elements of its 2020 car. But under the surface there's more than meets the eye with the A521 which hints at how the team will tackle 2021

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown? Plus

Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown?

Replacing Formula 1's fastest car was never going to be an easy feat for Mercedes. Amid the technical rule tweaks to peg back the W12 and its 2021 rivals, the new Mercedes challenger will remain the target to beat

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
The big F1 questions of 2021 Plus

The big F1 questions of 2021

After an unprecedented season last year, there are plenty of questions and storylines for the upcoming Formula 1 campaign. Sky Sports F1 pundit Karun Chandhok gives his verdict

Formula 1
Mar 1, 2021
The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era Plus

The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era

Ferrari is starting its post-Sebastian Vettel age by welcoming Carlos Sainz Jr in alongside Charles Leclerc. But while Sainz has a tough challenge to match his new team-mate, Ferrari is also sending a message that previous intra-team spats must end

Formula 1
Mar 1, 2021
The mantra Ocon must follow to challenge Alonso Plus

The mantra Ocon must follow to challenge Alonso

OPINION: It's been an uneasy ride for Esteban Ocon since his F1 comeback - and fresh challenges lie in wait as he's joined by double world champion Fernando Alonso in the newly rebranded Alpine team. STUART CODLING sets out a roadmap to success

Formula 1
Feb 28, 2021
How McLaren’s new investors have already made an impact Plus

How McLaren’s new investors have already made an impact

OPINION: The deal McLaren concluded with MSP Sports Capital last year which will help the cash-strapped Formula 1 team pay for much-needed infrastructure upgrades, also points toward the future for F1 itself, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Feb 27, 2021
Why Verstappen isn't interested in hyping up Red Bull Plus

Why Verstappen isn't interested in hyping up Red Bull

In a pre-season where Red Bull has been unusually quiet, Max Verstappen has also been guarded about the team's fortunes in 2021. Even after trying the RB16B for the first time at Silverstone, the Dutchman was careful to manage expectations

Formula 1
Feb 26, 2021