Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul says with the team’s F1 future now secure they like the idea of finding a new partner team.
All 10 teams have signed up to the new Concorde Agreement, and with that security Renault also confirmed that they will instead be called Alpine from 2021 to promote that brand under the Renault banner.
Renault lost their long-term engine deal with Red Bull at the end of the 2018 season, while current customer team McLaren will switch to Mercedes power for 2021.
And now that his team are definitely staying in F1, Abiteboul said Renault are looking to build up their partnerships again.
Asked about Renault’s search for a partner team by Auto Motor und Sport, Abiteboul said: “Formula 1 is full of surprises. We now have a very good plan for what we want in the future
“Maybe that’s what McLaren and Daniel Ricciardo have been missing in working with us. Now that the Group has a clear commitment to Formula 1, I have the feeling that people are interested in talking to us again. Stability attracts potential partners.”
Renault’s future in Formula 1 was far from certain just a few months ago as the company underwent a total cost-cutting revamp, and Abiteboul explained why the company were convinced to commit to the sport long-term.
“It is a combination of many things. The fairer distribution of money. The increase in value of our Formula 1 license. The budget cap. Clearer decision-making processes. To this end, we have a new board of directors at Renault,” he said.
“He has a clear plan for how Formula 1 helps our business and the brand image of Alpine. All this together was the perfect starting point for our Formula 1 activities. This positive signal also gives us the motivation to do everything we can to be at the forefront again.”
— Renault F1 Team (@RenaultF1Team) September 21, 2020
But even though prize money will be distributed more fairly among the teams from 2021, Abiteboul said engine costs are the next “battlefield” for Formula 1.
“If Formula 1 sales return to their former level, the new distribution mode means that, together with the sponsors, we will be very close to the amount we spend on the team,” he confirmed.
“But there is also the engine department. And that is still a big cost center. And we still spend by far the least money of all the manufacturers.
“Nevertheless this cost factor is still too high for me. Something has to change. This will be the next battlefield that Formula 1 has to tackle.”