Budget cap is crucial say Renault

Date published: March 24 2019

Cyril Abiteboul insists Renault were as fast, if not faster than McLaren at the French GP.

Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul believes agreeing on a cost cap is more important than technical regulations for 2021.

Liberty Media will meet with the FIA and all ten teams on Tuesday as they look to set out their blueprint for Formula 1 post 2021.

However, Abiteboul believes technical talk can wait, because the financial side of the sport is what needs urgent change.

Speaking to Motorsport.com, he said: “There is lots of dialogue between the teams and F1 and the FIA, in particular on the budget cap.

“That’s a very complex set of new regulations, and something that did not exist.

“So every day, every week, we are making progress to address some of the concerns.

“As far as Renault is concerned because we think that something needs to be seriously done to contain the costs to be competitive in F1, we are massively in support of the budget cap.

“Is it the perfect answer? Maybe not. Is it the best answer? Probably.

“That’s why we’re working very actively to make it as robust as possible, and according to what will be our assessment at the end, we will see if we can be in favour, and we think it is a proper deterrent, or not. Lots of progress is being done on that aspect.”

Abiteboul also wants a swift agreement so that teams can plan for the changes and decide if they wish to sign a new Concorde Agreement and continue in the sport.

“I think we all accept that everyone needs to have some form of clarity before the summer. In order to do that we need to seriously get things ticked off, in particular on the financial side, on the governance.

“For me the three things that can’t wait are the financial distribution, the governance, and the budget cap – anything that’s related to the business, and the sustainability of the business model is important, because that’s what will define whether or not F1 is still a compelling and attractive platform for 2021.

“Then I would almost say that the set of regulations is secondary. Once the budget cap is introduced then we move the exposure to the cost of the regulations, and then they can define almost any regulation they want.

“That’s our opinion. That’s why this side in particularly is very important to be sorted.”

The Renault principal understands that it’s hard to come up with a deal that everyone likes, but says that if Liberty try too hard to satisfy everyone, then they risk making everybody unhappy.

“I think it’s complex. They trying are to reconcile teams that have different business models, very distinctive set-ups.

“Right now it looks like they are not prepared to upset anyone. The risk and danger is that by doing that they end up upsetting everyone.

“That’s why I think it’s taking a lot of time to find something that would be able to satisfy everyone.

“I can see where they’re coming from, I can understand their point. But I think the main thing to do is to make sure that F1 is and remains attractive.

“Right now it looks like they are afraid of losing one team, two teams, three teams. I think what’s really important is instead of having to live in fear we make F1 a platform that is again attractive enough to attract enough teams, so that you are not held to ransom by anyone.”

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