Abu Dhabi: Renault’s Formula One team have reiterated that they will not allow nothing, on or off the track, to distract the team from achieving much better results in the future.
Earlier this week, the Franco-Japanese alliance received a jolt last week when its chairman Carlos Ghosn was arrested for under-reporting his earnings and misuse of company assets.
On Thursday, the company’s board made an unanimous decision to dismiss Ghosn as Nissan’s chairman.
“The focus is the continuity with Thierry Bollore, who was director of the board. We need to support Renault and focus on the championship the best possible way,” Cyril Abiteboul, managing director of Renault Sport F1 told media on Friday.
“F1 is part of the visible operation with clear expectations upon return on business, like awareness or technology developments. These factors are good values for F1. There is no reason why anything should change now. We want to deliver the best result to the company at the best possible price,” he added.
Abiteboul insisted there is no fallout at Renault considering that Ghosn had been such a huge figure with his support.
“The decision to remove him was not a one-man decision. It was taken by the company. We have been in the business and there are clear indications of how we will be continuing. So, there is no major impact. We don’t see any reason why there would be any impact. We have a job to do and that is to compete this weekend. This has been a success and we know what we need to do,” Abiteboul said.
Carlos Sainz will be replaced by Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo until 2020, while Nico Hulkenberg will continue with Renault until the end of the 2019 season. In fact, Abiteboul went a step further and spelt out goals for the team in the future.
“When we joined F1, we knew the situation and the challenges. We have to see how we can manoeuvre. At some points, there [have] to be spending limitations. That is the feeling from everyone. But that said, what matters is the principle where we must win races at a reasonable cost in F1,” he said.
From 2013 to 2014, the 41-year-old Frenchman was team principal of Caterham Formula One team, before taking over as managing director of the Renault Sport F1 Team.
After graduating in 2001, Abiteboul joined Renault at Boulogne-Billancourt where he was made business development manager for the Renault F1 team in 2007 and went on to become executive director of Renault Sport F1 in 2010. He joined Caterham F1 Team in September 2012.
Abiteboul had previously worked with team partner Renault, where he was deputy managing director of Renault Sport F1, but in early November 2012, he was appointed as team principal of Caterham, in place of Tony Fernandes. In July 2014, after Abiteboul’s departure from Caterham F1 team had been announced, Renault confirmed his return as managing director of Renault Sport F1.
Hungry for more
“Targets for next year are a bit early to know. We like to know. The further you go, the more demanding the steps are. We need to keep progressing and developing the team, both on track and off the track we need to develop the team with Daniel [Ricciardo]. Nico is doing very well, but we need more action,” he stressed.
“The ultimate goal is that we want to be closer to the bigger teams. We will announce these targets before the next season, where we expect Daniel to play a huge role. If F1 is a good value for position in the past, then it can be the same for the future. It is in our hands to deliver the best possible results,” Abiteboul added.