Renault boss calls for F1 spending to ‘return to reality’

Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul has called for cost reductions in Formula 1

Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul believes that Formula 1 expenditures have reached unsustainable levels and need to be reined in.

Cost-cutting has become in vogue again as F1 owner Liberty Media seeks to ensure that smaller teams can become more competitive amid the dominance of Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull Racing.

However, the next rules cycle, beginning in 2021, has not yet been finalised.

Renault won F1’s ‘Class B’ in 2018 when it finished fourth in the constructors’ championship, albeit 297 points behind Red Bull.

Abiteboul indicated that the Enstone-based outfit would not be enticed to match the level of spending of the championship’s three leading teams, and believes that there is a consensus that costs must be reduced.

“I don’t want to be moaning about the situation, because when we joined Formula 1 we knew the situation,” he said.

“What’s quite remarkable is the arms race and the relentless spend in order to win; which I fully respect and I think it has afforded a great racing season this year, so we just need to see how we can emulate (Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull) at some point.

“At some point there will be a different deal on money distribution, at some point there will have to be a limitation of spend because in our opinion it’s just not sustainable and I believe — correct me if I’m wrong — but I believe this is a shared feeling from everyone.

“So then it’s just a timing issue. If the plan is delayed by one year then it’s delayed by one year but I think what matters is the principle that we must be in a position to win races at reasonable cost, given the value of Formula 1.

“This is the equation that we want; returning to reality in the next few months.”

Renault will field cars for Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg in the 2019 championship, with season launch on February 12.

Pre-season testing begins in Barcelona on February 18.

CLICK HERE for the ARMOR ALL Summer Grill episode looking back on Ricciardo’s 2018 season and what his future with Renault holds.

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