Cyril Abiteboul has responded firmly to speculation that Renault again want out of Formula 1 after the transfer of McLaren from the French manufacturer to Mercedes engines.
With the abandonment of McLaren as a customer team, which from next year will return to be powered Mercedes, Renault will be the only team powered by its own engine.
This has done nothing more than resume the usual speech of recent years: is the French team close to retiring from Formula 1?
Cyril Abiteboul, the team principal of the French team, seems to have been annoyed at the umpteenth question of this kind, and has rejected this conjecture.
“It’s a pressure for all 10 teams,” he says in an interview to Autocar magazine, “but there’s something a bit awkward about Renault.”
“It feels to me that we have to respond to that question much more. It’s not just you asking, it’s everyone. And I wonder why…
“We have been in F1 for 42 years in some shape or form. I accept our lack of consistency, plus there have been some statements and changes of management. I get all of that.
“But the reality is we’re well established with two factories [the engines are built in Viry-Châtillon, near Paris], we’re now a group of 1200 people and we’re well advanced, not only for this year but into next.
“The new Concorde [Agreement, by which F1’s finances are distributed to each team] is progressing in the right direction and we’ve got a set of regulations which are very positive for us. Directionally, it’s all good.
“I do accept we are part of an automotive industry that is shaking, and that is also true for Renault. But are we really struggling more than [Mercedes parent firm] Daimler? I’m not sure.
“The value is here already and will be only better in the future. It’s down to us to crystallise our potential, starting with our performance. If our performance was better, we would have to respond to fewer questions of this type.”
In other news including Renault’s F1 team, Mercedes, McLaren, Red Bull, Racing Point, Haas, Renault and Williams are collectively part of ‘Project Pitlane’ in a bid to collectively assist the emergency production of ventilators. Medical devices much required by the Corona Virus outbreak.
A statement on the F1 website read: “The seven teams’ combined efforts, termed ‘Project Pitlane’, are part of a UK industry-wide effort to manufacture and deliver respiratory devices to support the national need.
“Project Pitlane is focused on three workstreams. These workstreams vary in scope from reverse engineering existing medical devices, to support in scaling the production of existing ventilator designs, to the rapid design and prototype manufacture of a new device.
“Project Pitlane will pool the resources and capabilities of its member teams to greatest effect, focusing on the core skills of the F1 industry: rapid design, prototype manufacture, test and skilled assembly.