Renault boss hits out at 'unfair' way Mercedes delays staff moving

Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul thinks Mercedes is being "unfair" in the way it is locking down staff to lengthy gardening leave spells to delay them switching to other Formula 1 teams

Renault boss hits out at 'unfair' way Mercedes delays staff moving

With Renault investing heavily to expand its operation, it has faced frustrations that Mercedes in particular is slowing down the arrival of staff that have agreed to switch by up to two years.

Abiteboul believes that such "aggressive" contractual terms are not only frustrating for his team, but are bad for F1 because they prevent the spreading of knowledge that keeps the grid competitive.

"Red Bull is not too aggressive in the way they are keeping their people, but Mercedes are the most aggressive," said Abiteboul during a sponsor event with Infiniti at Austin.

"We signed up a senior person from Mercedes last year, and he is not due to join before 2019 because of the contractual situation.

"The UK is very favourable to protect employees for the benefit of the employer, but that is giving us a bit of a hard time. We know it, so we simply have to deal with it.

"Red Bull are not stupid in the way they are protecting their staff. Mercedes have the right to do what they are doing, but I think it is a bit unfair.

"They already have the financial resources but now they are blocking the system by making sure no one can go anywhere.

"It is still a sport and we need to provide a good show and interesting show and that is not what is happening if you are doing that."

Abiteboul says that signing experienced staff from other teams is essential for helping Renault move forwards, because its young staff need more time to get up to speed with F1.

"The reliability issues that we have this year on our car, a lot of that is due to the fact that we have very young designers in the design office," he said.

"They don't necessarily know the tolerances and load cases, and they don't have this type of experience, so we are suffering."

Abiteboul said that Renault is on course to have facilities that will be at the level of the top teams by 2018.

"We have massively recruited new people, very aggressive people, and a lot of people coming from Red Bull," he said.

"We have upgraded the windtunnel and upgrading next year the [CFD] cluster.

"It is all about facilities and we will be at the level of the best team by the middle of next year, in terms of facilities and number of people, resources.

"Now it is just about making sure that they work properly together."

shares
comments
New McLaren F1 front wing a 'great step forward' ready for 2018

Previous article

New McLaren F1 front wing a 'great step forward' ready for 2018

Next article

Williams is helping Kubica on his 'journey' to assess F1 comeback

Williams is helping Kubica on his 'journey' to assess F1 comeback
Load comments
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021