Renault F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul believes the French manufacturer is the team on the grid that could benefit the most from Formula 1’s 2021 regulation overhaul.
The technical and commercial changes that shall be introduced from next year will hopefully steer the sport into a new era, in which a more equitable sporting and financial playing field among competitors will emerge.
Renault’s five-year plan, initiated in 2016, to chase down F1’s front-runners and challenge for the title in 2021 now appears to lag by a couple of years.
The French squad’s performance has stagnated in the past few seasons, with Renault even ceding its spot as best of the rest to engine customer McLaren.
But Abiteboul is confident his team faces a massive opportunity ahead, not only to bridge the gap to its rivals but also to consolidate its future in the sport at a time of disruption for the automotive manufacturer’s top brass.
“I think we are the main beneficiary of the 2021 deal and set of regulations,” he told Motorsport.com.
“I can’t say that they’ve been engineered for us, but for sure it goes in our direction.”
However, there’s an axe hanging over Enstone in the form of an internal strategic review currently conducted by Renault interim management, the potential outcome of which could annihilate the F1 team’s future.
“From my perspective everything that we’ve built we’ve done it with 2021 in mind, and everyone is aware of that, including at Renault corporate,” insisted a confident Abiteboul.
“The figures speak for themselves. Having said that, until a decision is made the decision is not made.”
However, Renault’s C-suite will take its time to assess the pros and cons of remaining in F1, as implied by the sport’s next Concorde agreement, the crucial legal document that governs the teams’ financial relationship with F1.
“I think it’s a parallel stream,” explained Abiteboul.
“On one side there is what the team is committed to do, with the FIA, with FOM. There is lots of discussion going on about the documentation itself.
“We’ve seen hundreds of pages of contract, and it takes a while.
“There’s also the stream having to keep on moving and improving and progressing in terms of our own performance in parallel.
“Renault is indeed making its own strategy and plans. We still have a management in interim, so we are indeed in contact on a regular basis with that management.
“The two will happen in parallel, and I hope will develop in a nice way. In my opinion it’s more for Q1/Q2.”
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