Renault CEO addresses rumours linking him to big Ferrari switch

Henry Valantine
Renault CEO Luca de Meo. Nurburg, Germany October 2020.

Renault CEO Luca de Meo walks the pit lane at the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix. Nurburg, Germany October 2020.

Renault CEO Luca de Meo has dismissed talk linking him with a similar role at Ferrari as “just rumours”, and he has “never been close” to the team.

Ferrari have struggled this season in the fight for ‘best of the rest’ behind a dominant Red Bull team, with Mercedes and Aston Martin also in on the fight for podiums alongside the Scuderia.

Team principal Fred Vasseur is still relatively new to the role, largely seen as one of the most pressured in all of Formula 1, with the weight of the sport’s largest global fanbase – as well as the nation of Italy – on his shoulders on a race by race basis.

Renault boss De Meo, which oversees the Alpine operation in Formula 1, has seen high-profile criticism from Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi do the rounds in the media of late surrounding the team’s performances, calling them “amateurish” and “unacceptable” last month.

De Meo was present to see how the team were performing in Spain and was asked about a rumour from Italy linking him with a move to a similar position within the Scuderia, but he was quick to brush that aside.

“Formula 1 is growing rapidly thanks to the extraordinary work of another important Italian in Stefano Domenicali,” De Meo told Italian radio station Rai.

“Am I close to Ferrari? In the past it was just rumours. I admire [Luca di] Montezemolo a lot, but in fact I’ve never been close to Ferrari.” recommends

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Alpine’s performances have picked up of late, with a significant upgrade package introduced in Monaco appearing to pay dividends with a strong showing from Esteban Ocon putting him on the podium that weekend.

Pierre Gasly also qualified fourth in Barcelona, but two separate penalties for impeding dropped him to 10th and left a frustrating Sunday afternoon for him in Spain.

With the team around a quarter of the way through a 100-race plan to get to the front of the grid, the Renault CEO is looking at a wider view when it comes to Alpine being able to compete with the likes of Ferrari on a regular basis at the front of the grid.

“The podium in Monte Carlo was important, especially at an event that is worth double,” De Meo said.

“In Alpine we have a long-term project, and we are aware that staying at the top levels and battling it out with big teams like Ferrari, Red Bull or Mercedes requires a lot of work.

“Part of our project is to create an academy as it is at the top teams. Davide Brivio, formerly in MotoGP, is taking care of it. We’re trying to bring talented people into F1.

“We have always tried to be a forge of talent, as in the case of [Fernando] Alonso. He exploded with us and continues in his splendid career to be the protagonist today.”