Following the announcement of Honda’s decision to exit Formula One at the end of 2021, Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul has called for changes to the sport’s engine regulations.
Speaking to Autosport, Abiteboul said the “engine situation is simply unsustainable,” both from an economic and technological perspective.
“I want to be very clear that we take no satisfaction in the Honda situation.
“We need to call it the way it is. It’s not a positive development for F1. We want an F1 with car makers, with OEMs, with engine suppliers, and being down to three engine manufacturers is not a positive development.
“We need to draw some clear conclusions from this situation, and it’s something I’ve been urging the governing body to look at more carefully.
“The engine situation is simply unsustainable. In particular from an economic perspective, but also from a technology perspective.
“I am not sure we can afford this perception,” he added.
Continuing, Abiteboul said Formula One needs to either try to change this perception of the current power units, or bring forward new engine regulations.
“It’s [Honda’s withdrawal] just more evidence that we have failed in putting together the right messaging and the right marketing of these engine regulations, which are mind blowing; there is nothing more advanced in the world in terms of automotive powertrain.
“There is nothing that even gets close to this efficiency level for light vehicles, so that’s remarkable.
“But it’s just as remarkable to have failed so badly in explaining to the world and getting the world to understand what this is all about, and the windfalls that could impact more mainstream technology.”
With Renault’s return to Formula One proving to be relatively lacklustre prior to the 2020 season, there were question marks about the French car-maker’s future in Formula One.
The company’s management ultimately decided to sign up to the new Concorde Agreement, effectively committing them to the sport until the end of the 2025 season.
But, many in the paddock still believe Formula One needs to do more to attract new engine manufacturers to the sport and to encourage existing suppliers to stay.
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