Cyril Abiteboul Remains Defiant As Other Teams Drop Appeals

As several teams dropped their appeal against the sanctions handed down to Racing Point, Renault’s Cyril Abiteboul remained resolute, confirming that his team will see the process through as they seek answers to the situation.

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Renault Appeal Is For Clarity

With uncertainty around the rules leading to the current situation Racing Point find themselves in, Abiteboul confirmed his team is seeking clarity from the FIA, and wants to ensure that Formula 1 will remain a constructor’s championship, with the emphasis on constructing a car.

‘We are not deciding what we do based on what others are doing. We define our own strategy. which is very much a high-level strategy for the sport.

‘Indeed, what we are seeking since the start of that process, it’s not a legal outcome, it’s not a degradation of the relationship between teams or team principals in the paddock. It’s really some answers to a situation, to a precedent that has been set; a disruption that has been brought into the sport and that’s what we’re after.

‘We don’t think we have a clear resolution to that as of yet. We’ve been at the start of that process. We want to make sure we lead that process until there is a crystal clear outcome that cannot be turned around once things are settled.

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‘I’m not talking about a legal settlement: I’m talking about settlement in general. We want in particular satisfaction that the rules will be changed. We have indication that it will be the case – but until it is the case, in that environment we know that you can’t back-off. So that is what we are after.

‘We are expecting that Formula 1 confirms again that it is a sport for constructors. Not just OEMs but constructors that design the whole car; that create the whole aerodynamic concept and that each car is its own aerodynamic concept. That’s what are after. We appreciate that the rules are not clear and that’s what we are seeking from the process.

Renault Seeking Consistency

After accepting their punishment for a break at Suzuka in 2019, Renault boss Abiteboul would like to see consistency in how the rules and punishments are applied.

‘We were expecting a consistent sanction.

‘With other sanctions that we’ve seen in the past and the most recent one being the one we accepted last year after Suzuka when we were found in breach of the Sporting Regulations and not the Technical Regulations and excluded from that event and therefore losing all our points.

‘There was no discount for Renault, so I don’t know why there should be a discount for Racing Point.

‘It should be all the points of the events that have been protested.

‘I think we are also going to be in a bit of a strange situation where, after every single event, Otmar will be called to the stewards, his brake ducts will be found similar to what they were, and unchanged, and again he will receive a reprimand.

‘So we are facing the prospect of – what – almost ten races or something like that, or a bit less than that, where his cars will be reprimanded. So, it’s a bit of a strange situation and I think that we’d like to have a bit more clarity about that.

‘Not necessarily saying that they should be excluded for the season – but I think that also from a communication standpoint to the fan, to the public, explaining why your car is still somewhat in breach because he will receive a reprimand, but it’s OK to be part of the Championship and therefore to be eligible for points.

‘We think it’s a bit awkward. So we would like also some closure about that, if possible.’

Renault CEO Luca de Meo Not Applying Pressure

While Renault are experiencing something of a renaissance since appointing Luca de Meo as CEO, the new boss hasn’t exerted his influence over the appeals process.

‘Clearly the great news is that in Luca de Meo we have a CEO that is really passionate and enthusiastic about cars, about the product, about sports cars and about motor racing. Clearly that’s something that’s going to be a game-changer for all of us in Renault. And also for myself.

‘He’s been a great person that I’ve been able to personally engage, and clearly I’m not going to hide or deny the fact that he’s had other discussions with peers from the paddock or associated to the paddock.

‘Clearly the decision that has been made and the process that we are following is a process that has been perfectly built and aligned with Luca de Meo.

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‘He knows the goal of the team, he knows the team situation. He’s here for the long run. He fully appreciates what’s being done, in measures, also what we are doing with the level of resources that we have – because I think he has a better understanding and knowledge of the sport, which is a good thing for all of us.

‘But he also has clear expectations, not just for the racing team but also for the way the racing team will play a role in Renault’s long term strategy –– and I think that’s what matters the most,’ concluded Abiteboul.