Renault-Alpine May Scrap 2026 F1 Engine Project

Pierre Gasly (FRA) Alpine F1 Team A524. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand Prix, Saturday 8th June 2024. Montreal, Canada.
Pierre Gasly (FRA) Alpine F1 Team A524. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand Prix, Saturday 8th June 2024. Montreal, Canada.

Renault CEO Luca de Meo says it’s critical that the Alpine team finally gets “things right” for the next regulations cycle beginning in 2026.

Wild rumours are currently doing the rounds suggesting the Enstone based team may actually be contemplating abandoning its 2026 engine project at Viry-Chatillon.

De Meo freely admits that Renault messed up its last major engine project.

“When we began the hybrid era, our engine didn’t perform,” he told Autocar, referring to 2014. “We had been world champions with Red Bull but with hybrid, things went wrong.

“Even the engine we developed in 2021 had a 0.2 to 0.5 second disadvantage every lap,” de Meo added. “And this year we’ve screwed up with the car.

“If you combine everything, we’re up to 1.5 seconds from where we need to be.”

According to the latest speculation, Renault may simply scrap its 2026 engine project altogether, and revert to being a mere customer of another F1 manufacturer.

An early frontrunner could be former partner Red Bull’s new Red Bull Powertrains-Ford engine project, while Mercedes may have the capacity to add a new customer given Aston Martin’s move to Honda power from 2026.

De Meo continued: “For this year and 2025, we will try with the current setup, then push to get things right for the next cycle. That’s the challenge.

“But we will do everything necessary to be a competitive team.”

Meanwhile, both France’s Auto Hebdo as well as Blick newspaper (Switzerland) believe Valtteri Bottas could be an option to replace departing Alpine driver Esteban Ocon next year.

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