Cyril Abiteboul is optimistic that Renault will remain committed to racing in Formula 1 ahead of its board reviewing its participation in the sport.

Renault’s interim CEO, Clotilde Delbos, confirmed earlier this month that the company would be conducting a “deep review” of its ‘Drive the Future’ blueprint for the future, part of which includes its participation in F1 beyond the 2020 season.

Renault F1 chief Abiteboul said the company’s board would make a decision once it had been presented the commercial contract between F1 and the teams that will replace the existing Concorde Agreement at the end of 2020, which he expressed his full support for.

“I’m not saying the [current] financial regulations aren’t a good set of regulations, as you know we fully supported them since day one. I think it is the best avenue to put a bit of common sense in the way the teams are spending and to create a show that is more dynamic,” Abiteboul said.

“We fully support that and we fully support the new prize fund that is more equitable. We fully support the new set of sporting and technical regulations that are going in the right direction. That will be taken into account by Renault, which will be presented a new contract for the period 2021 to 2025, and we will assess whether we want to sign up to those terms.

“Those new terms are better terms than the ones we have now, so I have no reason to believe that they will be rejected. But if they are not accepted, they are not accepted.”

While Abiteboul refused to speak on behalf of the Renault board about its commitment to the sport, he felt conditions were improved on where they were back in 2015 when the company decided to revive its works team in time for the 2016 season.

“I can’t tell you that, until that process is done, I can’t say,” Abiteboul said of Renault’s decision. “I’m sorry I don’t have any confirmation to make further than what I have done already. Let’s follow the process.

“But let’s be optimistic. If everything is better than what we have now I don’t see why we would get to a different position to the one we made in 2015. Yes, the market has changed and the sporting results are what they are.

“The most important thing is can we project ourselves with confidence in that period of time with reasonable results, at a reasonable cost.

“In my opinion, what we will get out of 2021 measures, we’re going in the right direction to answer these questions positively.

“The internal governance of Renault is a triumvirate – three people with an acting CEO right now who is still the CFO of the group. As CFO, she was sitting on the committee that has made all the decisions relative to the involvement in F1, including the return as a full team.

“The other two men are members of the executive committee for a long time. They’re not on the board for the team, but they know what we are doing and the reason why we are in the sport.”

Renault is currently without any customer teams beyond the 2020 season following McLaren’s decision to sign a contract with Mercedes for an engine supply from 2021.

Additional reporting by Julianne Cerasoli.

 

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