It was recently confirmed that Renault’s Formula One team will be rebranded Alpine next year, and, crucially, the French car-maker had decided to stay in the sport despite having a lacklustre return to running a works team.
Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul has now explained what convinced them to commit to the sport for at least a few more years and what their immediate plans are.
“Formula 1 is full of surprises,” Abiteboul said. “We now have a very good plan for what we want in the future.
“Maybe that’s what McLaren and Daniel Ricciardo have been missing in working with us,” he added.
Mclaren are currently the only customer team of Renault’s power unit, and with them switching to Mercedes power next year, Renault will only be supplying its rebranded works team.
But, following the company’s commitment to the sport, Abiteboul believes that other teams may be interested in working with Renault.
“Now that the Group has a clear commitment to Formula One, I have the feeling that people are interested in talking to us again. Stability attracts potential partners.”
Explaining why Renault ultimately decided to stay in Formula One, Abiteboul said it was down to “a combination of many things,” including the fairer distribution of prize money, the agreement of a budget cap from 2021 onwards, and the increased value of the team’s F1 licence.
“To this end, we have a new board of directors at Renault. He has a clear plan for how Formula One helps our business and the brand image of Alpine.
“All this together was the perfect starting point for our Formula 1 activities. This positive signal also gives us the motivation to do everything we can to be at the forefront again.”
Earlier this week, Abiteboul said that the return of Fernando Alonso to Renault next season means they will have “no excuses” not to perform.
The team is currently fifth in the F1 Constructors’ Standings, just 23 points adrift of third-placed Mclaren.
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