Formula 1
Formula 1
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
46 days
09 May
Next event in
64 days
23 May
Race in
81 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
95 days
13 Jun
Race in
103 days
27 Jun
Race in
116 days
04 Jul
Next event in
120 days
18 Jul
Race in
137 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
151 days
29 Aug
Race in
179 days
05 Sep
Race in
186 days
12 Sep
Race in
193 days
26 Sep
Race in
207 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
211 days
10 Oct
Race in
221 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
236 days
31 Oct
Race in
243 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
263 days
R
Saudi Arabia GP
05 Dec
Race in
278 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
284 days
Thought leadership series
Topic

Thought leadership series

Abiteboul: Renault plans "very long" stay in racing

Renault F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul reckons that the 'new deal' for Formula 1 involving a wide-reaching package of measures aimed at cost control and levelling the competitive playing field is a victory for common sense and will be a boost to his French car manufacturer staying in the sport.

Abiteboul believes the changes will move F1 away from being a two-tier sport to one where any team entered could win a race, with features like open source components on which teams collaborate rather than compete, to drive innovation and reduce cost.

Speaking as part of our #thinkingforward series, looking at how the sport emerges from the current pandemic crisis, Abiteboul who represents one of the world's top three automobile manufacturers, added that motorsport is in Renault's DNA with over 120 years of history in the sport and that it would be committed to racing long into the future.

Renault opened its Viry engine base from lockdown last Monday and today the chassis factory at Enstone reopens in preparation for the restart of racing, although the effects of the UK Government's ruling on quarantine for anyone entering the country still have to be worked through.

Abiteboul believes that the sport has acted decisively in the face of the crisis to reset the business model to preserve its participating teams,

"It's a major crisis, so it's difficult to assume now what will be really the (global economic) effect, but all the things that are happening: better money distribution from prize fund, lower budget cap.. much lower than it was and we've been pushing for years for this type of figures, so frankly.. will probably be very good for us. Very close to the level at which we've been operating.

"It's a much better business model in my opinion. If the condition was good enough for a number of manufacturers to join the sport in the past, they will be even better tomorrow.

"We've been able to push for containing the crazy development race on the engine, and it's really insane what we've been spending on the engine, and finally that's going to change.

"Our voice has finally been heard as maybe a voice that is representing common sense.

"All of that is pointing in the right direction for those who are already in the sport, I have a firm belief into that."

Read Also:

There are doubts over the appetite of manufacturers to continue to invest in motorsport as sales of light vehicles have crashed during the lockdown.

There were question marks even before the crisis about Renault's continued participation in Formula 1 and while Abiteboul does not yet have a cast iron guarantee from the top levels of the Renault-Nissan alliance

that F1 is still considered core business, he says, "We've been in Formula 1 since the '70s. We've been loyal to Formula 1 and clearly as we look forward I think it's important to stay true to your roots, to where you're coming from, to your history, not just because of loyalty but also because it means something in the narrative that you can appeal to today's and tomorrow's customers.

"Motorsport has a unique value and contribution into it. That's why we believe in it, just like we believe in a number of marketing activities, except that it's sport, except that it's been a core of technology. That's racing, that's emotion also, and Renault stands for emotion. So all of that means a lot. And that's why we've been in this for a decades and we intend to do so for very long.

"You want to have a clear narrative as to why a consumer should be interested in your brand and your product, rather than others. And I think what you have in your DNA, in your history and your legacy counts to a certain degree much more than anything else."

The Renault-Nissan alliance is committed to Formula E and Abiteboul observed that being in both Formula 1 and FE has allowed them to do Formula E cost effectively because they develop "a number of technologies for Formula 1 that can then be transferred into FE. That's why I think Formula 1 will continue to drive innovation.

"Frankly the trend for electrification is not going to go away, it's going to accelerate in particular with a commitment that has been taken in the automotive sector towards more sustainability. So yes, clearly Formula 1 needs to keep on pointing in that direction but it's been the case since 2009 with the first KERS introduction and then 2014 with this [turbo hybrid] power unit. I think we need to do still a better job in marketing F1 in relation to that."

However the Frenchman believes that the sport must still go further, with the driver salary cap something that he feels there is a moral obligation to introduce. With the lower budget cap coming in, many F1 teams are going to have to lay off hundreds of employees, with all the social consequences and that will entail. So it would be the morally wrong for the levelling of the technical playing field to lead to driver salary inflation, "hopefully we'll be heard, like we've been heard on the rest," he said.

shares
comments
Russell dominates virtual Monaco GP, Leclerc in Gutierrez clash

Previous article

Russell dominates virtual Monaco GP, Leclerc in Gutierrez clash

Next article

AMG boss tipped to replace Aston CEO Palmer

AMG boss tipped to replace Aston CEO Palmer
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Renault F1 Team
Author James Allen
Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown? Prime

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

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

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

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

The mantra Ocon must follow to challenge Alonso at Alpine Prime

The mantra Ocon must follow to challenge Alonso at Alpine

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…

Why Haas is willing to sacrifice its 2021 F1 season Prime

Why Haas is willing to sacrifice its 2021 F1 season

Every Formula 1 team is facing the same difficult decision this season: how do you split precious aero development time between the current car and the all-new 2022 project?

The big questions of F1 2021 - Karun Chandhok Prime

The big questions of F1 2021 - Karun Chandhok

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
How McLaren F1’s new investors have already made an impact Prime

How McLaren F1’s new investors have already made an impact

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 GP Racing's Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Feb 27, 2021
Why Verstappen isn't interested in the hype game Prime

Why Verstappen isn't interested in the hype game

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
The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes Prime

The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes

In the strategy for grand prix racing's future, 2021 represents a significant step towards the goal of closer racing and a more level playing field. That's the theory behind the latest raft of changes, but will they have the desired effect?

Formula 1
Feb 24, 2021