Renault consider quitting F1

Published: Friday 27th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Renault could yet quit Formula One if the French manufacturing giant feels it is not getting value from the sport.

That was the warning from managing director Cyril Abiteboul, who has been embroiled in a war of words these past few days with Red Bull’s hierarchy.

Team principal Christian Horner initially let rip after the opening race of the season in Australia earlier this month, claiming power-unit supplier Renault had delivered an “undriveable” system that was 100bhp shy of dominant Mercedes.

Design guru Adrian Newey then claimed there to be “no light at the end of the tunnel” with regard to a power unit that possesses “all sorts of failings”.

Abiteboul fired back by declaring Newey as someone “who lies”, and being someone now “too old to change”, whilst further suggesting Red Bull were equally as culpable for the current demise.

In Friday’s FIA press conference ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix, Abiteboul found himself sat alongside Horner, with the two men doing all they could to bury the hatchet.

Abiteboul, however, made clear F1 has to fit in with Renault’s long-term strategy, otherwise they could call it a day.

“I can confirm we are looking at a lot of options, including getting out of Formula One,” confirmed Abiteboul.

“Honestly, if F1 is that bad for Renault’s reputation, if we see we struggle with the current formula, if F1 is not delivering value (compared to) what it costs Renault – bearing in mind when you are an engine supplier you have no financial incentive to develop and to fund engine development – this is what we are looking at.

“Obviously we think we are a credible player in the sport, but we want to compete amongst the best brands.

“Formula One is good to meet and plan as a brand, so we need to think about what else we can do to what we are doing.

“If you do that, and this is an open market, we have the capacity to have discussions with lots of parties, b ut for the time being the focus is on engines.”

Renault also supply Red Bull’s ‘sister’ team Toro Rosso with power units.

With Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost also sat alongside Abiteboul, the Austrian made clear he would love to see Renault take over his marque, which is another option speculated upon recently.

“This would be a fantastic opportunity for Toro Rosso to make the next step forward because the team wants to be established in the future within the first five in the constructors’ championship,” said Tost.

“To be part of a manufacturer, to work together with a manufacturer, to be owned by a manufacturer would be exactly this step forward the team needs to be established in the first five.”

Published: Friday 27th March 2015 by The News Editor

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