Renault lacked "force" to make most of £15m investment in F1 team

Renault says it lacked the "force" to make the most of its £15million investment in its Formula 1 team's Enstone base and improve its technical development

Renault lacked "force" to make most of £15m investment in F1 team

The manufacturer experienced difficulty getting the most from its upgrades in 2019, particularly one it brought to its home race in Paul Ricard.

That prompted a major internal review of the organisation, which concluded Renault needed some restructuring.

As well as shuffling staff around, it has hired former McLaren engineer Pat Fry for a senior role.

Renault F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul said a key lesson Renault had learned was the need for stronger direction on the technical front.

"It looks like we were missing something in the technical leadership of the team, in the ability to pull all the resources that we put together," he told Autosport.

"We talk a lot about figures, and headline numbers like 750 people in Enstone now. It's huge, and there has been lots of investments: £15million of investment.

"But all of that needs to be driven by a force. And I felt that, and we felt that, we were a bit weak in technical leadership.

"Therefore, that led to the recruitment of Pat."

Abiteboul said there were multiple factors at play to explain why Renault had a difficult 2019 campaign.

"I think in the first part of this season we had a decent car," he said.

"But it was not very visible, because we did not manage to get the results or score the points that we could have at the time, given the theoretical competitiveness of our car against our competitors.

"There were different types of reasons for that: reliability, the engine, operation at the track, a bit of pitstop, and a bit of strategy.

"Plus a bit of drivers, also particularly Daniel [Ricciardo] getting used to the car.

"That unfortunately cost us some points at the time where we were in decent shape."

Abiteboul said the French Grand Prix upgrade disappointment highlighted a concept problem with its car that could not be cured during the season, and that opened the door for McLaren to overhaul it for fourth in the constructors' championship.

"When we were expecting to bring the car to the next level, it didn't really work," he said.

"So we discovered that there was a sort of limit for the development of the car given the choices that were made in terms of overall philosophy.

"That was the story of the second part of the season. It was more difficult, and being out-developed by teams around us.

"Plus McLaren, to start with, benefiting from progress we had made on the engine, and the progress that we kept on coming in the course of the season."

shares
comments
What F1 should aim to learn from Zandvoort experiments
Previous article

What F1 should aim to learn from Zandvoort experiments

Next article

The remarkable story of F1's most unlikely test driver

The remarkable story of F1's most unlikely test driver
Load comments
Why the lack of “needle” between Red Bull and Ferrari in F1 2022 is a mirage Plus

Why the lack of “needle” between Red Bull and Ferrari in F1 2022 is a mirage

OPINION: The fight for the 2022 Formula 1 world titles between Red Bull and Ferrari so far features little of the public animosity that developed between the former and Mercedes last year. But that isn’t to say things are full on friendly or won’t get much worse very quickly…

The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight Plus

The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight

The Toleman TG184 was the car that could, according to legend, have given Ayrton Senna his first F1 win but for Alain Prost and Jacky Ickx at Monaco in 1984. That could be stretching the boundaries of the truth a little, but as STUART CODLING explains, the team's greatest legacy was in giving the Brazilian prodigy passed over by bigger outfits an opportunity

Formula 1
May 16, 2022
Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes Plus

Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes

Two famous manufacturer teams born out of humble midfield origins, splashing the cash while attempting to rise to the top of F1 in record time. There are clear parallels between Lawrence Stroll’s Aston Martin and the doomed Jaguar Racing project of 22 years ago, but MARK GALLAGHER believes struggling Aston can avoid a similar fate

Formula 1
May 15, 2022
How rejuvenated Haas recovered its F1 mojo Plus

How rejuvenated Haas recovered its F1 mojo

US-owned but until recently Russian-backed, Haas seems to have reached a turning point in car performance after three gruesome seasons. And it needs to if it’s to attract fresh investment. Team boss Gunther Steiner tells OLEG KARPOV how close Haas came to the abyss

Formula 1
May 14, 2022
How F1 race leaders have now lost their comfort blanket Plus

How F1 race leaders have now lost their comfort blanket

As Formula 1 teams have settled down in understanding the new generation of cars and the way they need to maximise their performance, fresh lessons have emerged. Jonathan Noble investigates how they have brought with them an all-new kind of grand prix racing

Formula 1
May 12, 2022
Gilles Villeneuve's 10 greatest F1 drives Plus

Gilles Villeneuve's 10 greatest F1 drives

Formula 1 lost one of its brightest stars when Gilles Villeneuve was killed during practice for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix. Forty years on, Autosport picks out the greatest drives by a Ferrari legend

Formula 1
May 11, 2022
The silver lining of Ferrari’s Miami GP defeat Plus

The silver lining of Ferrari’s Miami GP defeat

OPINION: Much was made of Formula 1’s first Miami Grand Prix – what turned out to be a very ‘marmite’ event for both those in attendance and everyone following on TV. But even as the on-track battle between Red Bull and Ferrari it produced continued the negative run of results for the red team, it contained a glimmer it must hope continues to shine

Formula 1
May 11, 2022
How imperfect Miami offered F1's drivers a unique challenge Plus

How imperfect Miami offered F1's drivers a unique challenge

OPINION: Despite all of the stylistic embellishments festooning Formula 1's inaugural Miami Grand Prix, the Miami International Autodrome offered the drivers a unique challenge and punished driver errors; a stark contrast to the usual cast of modern-day circuits

Formula 1
May 10, 2022