My immediate reaction to Renault’s comments regarding their commitment to Formula 1 was one of frustration and emotional buffoonery. It wasn’t one my best moments, admittedly, but I couldn’t help feeling miffed that this group threatened to leave F1 if it didn’t change to hybrid engines and now, having had their arse handed to them, they are contemplating leaving the sport completely. Renault’s Cyril Abiteboul said:
“I can confirm that we are looking at a lot of options, including getting out of Formula 1,” Abiteboul said.
“Honestly, if Formula 1 is that bad for Renault’s reputation, if we see that we struggle with the current formula; if Formula 1 is not delivering the value it costs to Renault – bearing in mind that when you have an engine supplier, you have no incentive to fund engine development – this is what we’re looking at.”
Sure, demand the single biggest cost impact the sport has ever known, provide us with electrocuted mechanics, batteries, two teams now defunct, one team barely saved, slower cars, lower horsepower, massively reduced sound, and cars not running in order to save engine components then leave the sport. Not brilliant!
As for the lack of respect for their achievements, I can’t help but go back to my original confusion as to why the side of the car says “Infiniti” and not Renault. Isn’t that their fault? They need to call Craig Burnett over at Mothers and see if he has a clay bar or something that can fix this.
I personally know that Renault Sport F1 has the ability to promote and communicate because as a media outlet, I receive their emails and find them one of the best, if not the best, communicators from all F1 pundits. They are terrific in communicating what they are doing and why. Their transparency is unequalled. Why the lack of promotion on the car?
On the other side of the argument, I do understand that the investment has to make sense and if it doesn’t, can you blame Renault for leaving? If it is nothing but a financial burden, then no team or supplier will stay. That’s just economics and as much as it may frustrate me that they were instrumental in changing the sport and not necessarily for the better, it do get the plot.
Red Bull has latched on to this statement and tacked with their comments about leaving the sport by suggesting what they meant was that they could be forced to leave the sport.
“We could ultimately find ourselves without an engine supplier, should Renault choose to withdraw from Formula 1,” he said. “Mercedes wouldn’t supply Red Bull with an engine and it’s unlikely we’d be in a position to take a Ferrari engine.”
Yeah, that’s what we meant. Well played, Christian, well played.
Hat Tip: Sky Sports F1