Cyril Abiteboul, Renault, Red Bull Ring, 2020

Renault dropped Racing Point appeal because it expects rules changes – Abiteboul

2020 Belgian Grand Prix

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Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul has explained the team’s reasons for dropping its appeal against the outcome of its protest against Racing Point.

The FIA stewards found in favour of Renault after it raised objections over the design of Racing Point’s brake ducts. However the team appealed against the decision and indicated it was not satisfied with the scale of the penalty which was handed down.

Earlier this week, Renault announced it had decided to withdraw the appeal. Abiteboul said it has done so because the team is satisfied that the FIA intends to introduce regulations which will prevent teams duplicating rivals’ designs in the way Racing Point has done with last year’s Mercedes.

“I understand that maybe there are some elements to be seen in order for people to appreciate what we’ve done, why we’ve done it and why we are dropping so early,” Abiteboul told Sky. “I think there are some elements missing that will show up in the next few weeks.

“Basically what we’ve been doing since the start is to get a guarantee and make sure that we share the vision with the FIA and Formula 1 that the championship is a championship for constructors. Not constructors by the definition of an OEM [original equipment manufacturer], but people building, designing their car, owning the IP of the car with 10 original designs and original aerodynamic concepts. We don’t want a championship of copying or tracing.

“So we wanted to make sure that whatever the regulations are currently saying, the future regulations will make sure that this is the case. And we have received guarantees that it’s the vision, but also that the regulation will evolve in that direction in order to avoid any ambiguity. So that’s what’s happening.

“It’s a bit of a work in progress. The regulations cannot be voted now because we are between two Concorde Agreements. But as soon as the future of the new Concorde Agreement will be in place, those regulations will evolve in that direction.”

Abiteboul added the team could not guarantee an appeal would have produced a successful result.

“The appeal process is very complex and a process full of doubt and uncertainty,” he said. “We don’t know what could have happened at the extent, at the outcome of that process. So we have no certainty that we would have ended up in a better sporting situation.”

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Racing Point was found to have broken the rules through obtaining brake ducts from Mercedes. Renault and Mercedes’s road car businesses have collaborated on vehicle platforms and drivetrains.

Asked whether the corporate relationship between the two companies influenced the decision to drop the appeal, Abiteboul said: “Mercedes is a great brand, is a partner of Renault. But to a certain degree everyone is a partner of everyone in that paddock.

“Aston Martin, the future brand of Racing Point, is also a very strong partner of Mercedes and Daimler, there [is much] evidence of that.

“So I think we are competitors. We’ve tried in the past to engage and to develop some synergy with Mercedes. Now that again we’ve got a more long-term [period] of time in Formula 1, maybe that’s the sort of thing we can do in the future.

“But what matters, what we were after is clarification of the regulation and that’s what will happen.”

McLaren will drop Renault’s engines in favour of Mercedes units next year, leaving Renault with no customer teams. Abiteboul said it would be advantageous for them to find a replacement.

“With the renewal of the Concorde Agreement, but also with the confirmation of our commitment to Formula 1 on the future, clearly we need to look at our set-up and see what’s good, what’s positive and also what’s missing.

“I’ve always said that even though we are not desperate of having a customer team, I think it’s good and better to have partner teams in the paddock for engine development but maybe in order to make the most of the regulations and cover the other set-ups that you have in the paddock which are very clear. We can see the advantage of that.”

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2020 Belgian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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3 comments on “Renault dropped Racing Point appeal because it expects rules changes – Abiteboul”

  1. Dorilton F1 to become a Renault b-team – you heard it here first!

  2. At least they could have made up a better excuse…

  3. FIA v RP will end up in a real court.
    Remember RP are an American owned & sponsored company.
    USA most litigious country on earth.

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