The Renault F1 team has admitted that they expect challenges managing the expectations of their 2018 F1 customers. The French manufacturer underwent a tempestuous relationship with Red Bull during the V6 era. Things came to a head in 2017 where they publicly fell out with Toro Rosso.
Now, Renault have joined forces with McLaren after the latter’s three difficult seasons with Honda. During that difficult period, the British marquee was often publicly critical of its struggling engine partner.
However, Renault Formula 1 advisor Alain Prost believes that McLaren will put “positive pressure” on the French manufacturer. Meanwhile, Renault F1 team boss Cyril Abiteboul was of the opinion that the prospect of managing expectations for two former championship-winning teams would be “challenging”.
Abiteboul said, “Actually, I think there is more positives than there is some negative in those relationships, even though I accept it’s going to be high maintenance and going to be an interesting season to manage. I think it’s interesting because it’s challenging – but at the same time it’s providing motivation to everyone. There is clearly pride to be supplying engines to other great teams and their fantastic drivers. Also, I believe McLaren has a wealth of experience and can show us the way to push our engine, but also new ways of making sure we have a winning package. Frankly I’m looking forward to it. It’s good to be in a competitive environment, but it’s also good to be challenged.”
Besides McLaren, Renault are also supplying Red Bull for this season. With the Red Bull contract ending in 2019, it will soon be down to just McLaren and the factory team. With regard to how well the teams will perform in 2018 is a mystery until March. It will also be interesting to see how well Renault can handle its 2018 F1 customers and their demands.