Carlos Sainz Jnr, Renault, Spa-Francorchamps, 2018

Renault trusts Liberty to prevent F1 rivals exploiting ‘B teams’

2018 F1 season

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Renault expects Liberty Media to take steps to prevent Formula 1’s biggest outfits from using ‘B teams’ to get around restrictions on spending and development.

F1’s commercial rights holder intends to introduce a budget cap from the 2021 season. But there are concerns some manufacturer teams could get around it by linking up with their engine customers to share developments costs.

The topic arose when Liberty approached Force India’s rival teams to gain support for them to continue competing in the championship as a new entry following the team’s sale. Renault was among those which sought assurances that approving Force India’s return would not lead to them becoming a ‘B team’ of engine supplier Mercedes.

“If Force India is becoming a junior team of Mercedes, allowing Mercedes to transfer resources or workload and therefore improving their competitive situation vis-à-vis a future budget cap, that’s a concern because we don’t have that set-up,” Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul told RaceFans in an exclusive interview.

“Basically that would sanction the fact that you need that type of set-up, because that would be available for Mercedes and that’s already available for Ferrari, and Red Bull have the capacity also [and] assets available. So all three top teams will be in that situation and we are not. So that’s a major concern.”

Abiteboul believes Liberty Media’s planned changes to how F1’s revenues are distributed will prevent the rise of ‘B teams’.

“If Liberty do what they say they will do, which I have no reason to doubt, which is a more equitable financial distribution, I don’t see the necessity of keeping on having some senior team, super team, junior team.”

Renault believes that once there is “more equitable financial distribution” F1 will “come back to something where you have 10 constructor teams with 10 factories.”

“Apparently they will, the same way as we do. Frankly I have no other assurances than that, but I feel that we can trust people like Chase Carey and Ross Brawn when they say something.

“We share the same vision of the way things should be. We’ll see. I have absolutely nothing, there is no secret arrangement between us, apart from gentlemen’s discussion, but I believe that we can trust what they say.”

Read our full exclusive interview with Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul later today on RaceFans.

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2018 F1 season

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8 comments on “Renault trusts Liberty to prevent F1 rivals exploiting ‘B teams’”

  1. I thought McLaren was Renault’s B team.

    1. I have to admit I giggled, then cryed, then giggled again :D

  2. Not a big fan of Cyril, but i think he has a point here: policing this will be very difficult.

    I bet this is exactly what Ferrari are aiming with their deeper involvment in Sauber (besides being a testbed for young talents), and they’ve done it ahead of time so everything is in place when the situation arises. Marchione, the smart guy that he was, surely has seen this as a possible advantage over Mercedes and, to a lesser extent, Renault.

  3. In a few years after the cost caps, there’ll be all sorts of news articles about how the teams are using innovative ways of getting around it. F1 is partly the game of finding loopholes in regulations after all. It’s always been a ridiculous notion, the only difference is now the big teams are going “yes yes, it will fix everything” so they can keep whipping the other 2/3rds of the grid.

  4. And also how the B-teams helps the A-teams out on the track, that is not very amusing to see either…

  5. To me this sounds more like “We don’t have Ferrari’s strong customer teams, we don’t even have Mercedes’ number of customer teams, nor do we have the tight coupling of the two Honda/Red Bull teams. All we got stuck with are McLaren”.

  6. Yes we remember how 1997 championship was fought and how the Italian mafia and a cheating german got away thanks to Kangaroo court set up by FIA. Fia are a joke at best and wont do anything to stop B teams from interfering under influence of their overlords(applies to all top3 teams) at A teams.

  7. No wonder they are worried, they’ve shown a gentlemen’s agreement doesn’t count for much.

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