Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Monza, 2020

Renault “very concerned” over consequences of ‘quali mode’ ban

2020 Italian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul says he is “very concerned” about the potential outcome of the ban on ‘quali modes’ which is being introduced for this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.

From this weekend, teams face new restrictions on how they can run their engines. These are intended to prevent them using high performance modes for short bursts during qualifying.

Renault enjoyed a strong race at Spa last week, taking fourth and fifth. But Abiteboul doubts they’ll be able to replicate that performance following the new technical directive on engine modes.

“My biggest concern of everything is, given the expectation that we set after Spa, to see what we are able to achieve in Monza.

“In particular with the qualifying modes that will go away. I’m very concerned that it could have actually the opposite effect of what people are expecting.”

Mercedes are widely believed to have the strongest power unit in Formula 1 and therefore may have the most to lose from the ban. While Renault’s performance has improved in recent seasons, Abiteboul says he would not be content to have the second best engine after Mercedes.

“I would be satisfied if I have the strongest engine full stop. Second out of four is not a sufficient achievement.

“But I think it’s very difficult to exactly know where things are standing. There is such a variation from one track to the next the way you operate also through the life of the engine.

“These things are monsters of technology and the more we push the more also we see new opportunities and that’s very exciting to see. At the same time it’s insane, the cost of the technology is absolutely insane.”

Abiteboul doubts the team will be quite as strong at Monza as it was last weekend. “I think that Spa was probably one of the best tracks from a characteristics perspective,” he said.

“Monza should be OK-ish. I’m not particularly excited of what have seen this morning. So let’s remain extremely focussed and continue the work and more importantly, let’s try to have a car that is a bit more consistent across different tracks. It’s only through that condition that we’ll be able to progress in the championship.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2020 Italian Grand Prix

Browse all 2020 Italian Grand Prix articles

Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

12 comments on “Renault “very concerned” over consequences of ‘quali mode’ ban”

  1. Woah. Thats disappointing considering the success they had at Spa.
    The last thing they would want is to see is Gasly and Kvyat finish ahead of Esteban and Daniel .

    1. @webtel Why those two specifically. Wouldn’t even worse be either Ferrari PU-customer teams or Williams?

      1. Bc alpha tauri has race pace and can fight williams and ferrari do not?

      2. @jerejj
        I was just trying to stay away from the abyss there. :-D
        Being just a little but optimistic there…

  2. “In particular with the qualifying modes that will go away. I’m very concerned that it could have actually the opposite effect of what people are expecting.”

    Well, that depends on what people are expecting.
    But it was quite obvious that the team with the most reliable engine can run the most agressive single engine mode while taking the least punishment.
    From the sound of it Renault has figured out how to make their unreliable engine really fast for one lap, but isn’t reliable enough to significantly increase their current base racepace.

  3. Oh for the love of…!!!!!
    Starting already with excuses…

  4. Looks like the FIA is rapidly digging a deeper and deeper hole and the slope on the sides is getting steeper too.
    Qualifying tomorrow is going to be interesting.
    If it was all down to power, then Russel would make Q-3. That would be a hoot.

  5. Lol, second out of four indeed.

  6. He is so vague. Why say something and nothing at all? “the opposite effect?” The gap to Mercedes will be bigger in qualifying? Renault has the best quali mode?

  7. I’m thinking if the Mercs wipe the fllor with the field this weekend, the teams will lobby the FIA to overtunr the engine modes ban….lol

    1. this lol. +1

  8. Mercedes are widely believed to have the strongest power unit in Formula 1 and therefore may have the most to lose from the ban.

    That is not a valid argument.
    Having the best engine might allow for better qualifying modes though banning quali modes does not automatically mean you have lost any performance, that you haven’t got the best engine.
    If merc is the best engine they have, regardless of modes, the better performance, they could lose the work they put on quali modes. Banning Q modes then should not tighten the gap between engines, based on how good an engine is.
    The only aspect that can directly impact relative performance is how hard mercedes had worked on q modes.

    In fact “freezing” the power mode should showcase just how much better mercedes is, as they won’t be able to save it or hide it or manage it or use it strategically. If anything it should make merc look ven quicker, and if they don’t then the quali mode was definitely resorting to a loophole in the regulation, as per ferraris case.

Comments are closed.