Renault “not desperate” to find new engine customer after McLaren split

19-10-2019 19:08
by Bevan Youl
Renault “not desperate” to find new engine customer after McLaren split

Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul has said that they are “not desperate” to supply engines to other teams after their only customer McLaren have opted to use Mercedes engines again from 2021.

The French manufacturer returned to the sport as a works team in 2016 and have supplied engines to Red Bull, Toro Rosso and McLaren.
The Woking based team being the most recent of those partnerships beginning in 2018 but McLaren announced they would be switching to Mercedes for 2021 last month, leaving Renault with no customers.

“We know the team arrangements. Lots of long-standing relationships were already in existence when we went back into the sport,” Abiteboul said (quoted by

“Williams, Racing Point, they are very loyal partners to Mercedes. And the same for Haas [with Ferrari], Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Honda.

“We’ll look at opportunities. We are not desperate. We will only jump on one opportunity if it’s a real opportunity or a possible strategic partnership."

With Mercedes, Ferrari and Honda all powering several teams from 2021Abiteboul admitted that Renault may be a bit “naïve” in not influencing control other teams they supply engines too.

“Maybe the problem is that we are a bit too naïve in the sport, but we never use engine supplies as a way to influence control over teams, so this doesn’t change anything,” he added.

“The number of times we have seen McLaren or Red Bull or Toro Rosso voting in a completely different way to what we are thinking - it doesn’t remove anything.

“We need to see also how the governance is developing. The plan also presented on the governance side is giving less power to the teams, so you could argue that therefore it’s important to have a critical mass you can influence, maybe that’s something that Mercedes is considering.

“You could also argue that what is going to happen is that the FIA and Formula 1 are going to control most of the sport, full stop, so let’s not try.”


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