Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul has explained the team’s reasons for dropping its appeal against the outcome of its protest against Racing Point.
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.”
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
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.”
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
2020 Belgian Grand Prix
- 2020 Belgian Grand Prix Star Performers
- Ricciardo believes Renault’s Spa set-up breakthrough will work on other tracks
- ‘He should have let me pass’: How Raikkonen saw Giovinazzi’s crash
- FIA investigating how wheel came off Giovinazzi’s car in crash
- McLaren expect Ferrari will “strike back” after Monza