If you’ve listened to our podcast over the last couple years, you’ve heard me suggest that perhaps it is time to make changes at Renault. The team initially said it was on a three-year program to return to the front and while they’ve made good strides, they haven’t been able to challenge Mercedes or Red Bull…let alone McLaren in 2020.
The headline at F1.com seems to suggest they were shocked by this announcement. Would it surprise you to know that Iw isn’t the least bit shocked? I doubt you were either.
Losing Fred Vasseur a few years ago to Sauber was a tough impact but one that Cyril Abiteboul may have agreed with. Recently, Jerome Stoll left and some rumors had Davide Brivio coming to the team. This left Cyril Abiteboul to move to another role within the team or at least that’s what one might expect.
As it turns out, Laurent Rossi, the Director of Strategy and Business Development of Groupe Renault, is taking over the new CEO of Alpine, which will also see him assume control of the F1 team, and report to Renault CEO, Luca de Meo. Today’s announcement didn’t confirm or deny Brivio’s presence at the team.
The reason I felt the team needed a change was that there was a moment, since Cyril took the helm in 2017, that the team hit a wall and struggled to move forward. Let’s be honest, development and winning in Formula 1 is incredibly difficult but there were earmarks that concerned me and that included his handling of the Red Bull engine supply debacle.
With Fernando Alonso coming back, the team moving to the Alpine brand and a new CEO at Renault, it seems the time for change is now.
“I would like to thank the Groupe Renault for having trusted me for many years, particularly with the relaunch and reconstruction of the team since 2016,” Abiteboul said.
“The solid foundations of the racing team and the entities in France and England built over these years, the strategic evolution of the sport towards a more economically sustainable model, and more recently the Alpine project which provides a renewed sense of meaning and dynamism, all point to a very fine trajectory.”
I have to say, as much as I like the yellow and black of the Renault F1 car, returning to French Racing Blue would be awesome! Let’s see how they do under the new Alpine banner. The article sourced says they are returning to the French tricolor but a traditional French Racing Blue would be really nice!