Former Renault Boss Cyril Abiteboul May be Heading Back to F1: Reports

Published 02/17/2021, 7:11 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit, Portimao, Portugal – October 23, 2020 Renault Sport F1 Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul wearing a face mask FIA/Handout via REUTERS


An old name, a familiar face may take his place back in the F1 paddock after all. That man is Cyril Abiteboul, the Renault team boss who left the team amidst some mystery on the cusp of their rebrand as the Alpine Racing Team being close to completion.

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But he could be back even before the shadow of his absence goes away; that is if we are to believe the words of RaceFans’ Dieter Rencken.

According to him, Abiteboul may be back in some capacity at the Alfa Romeo team. He has been sighted around the Hinwil district of Switzerland, the home of Team Principal and CEO Frederic Vasseur, as well as the headquarters of the Swiss outfit.

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Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Imola, Italy – Alfa Romeo Team Principal Frederic Vasseur  FIA/Handout via REUTERS

He has a history with Vasseur, as they worked together during Renault’s return to F1 in 2016. It was before Vasseur left to take the reigns at Sauber.

But why would he want to take a demotion at Alfa Romeo?

What could be driving Cyril Abiteboul’s F1 return?

To get to his return, first, let’s take a look at why Renault CEO Luca de Meo may have potentially ousted him. According to Renault insiders, he is uprooting those who worked under Carlos Ghosn. He is de Meo’s predecessor and was responsible for a lot of malpractices at Renault.

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – NOVEMBER 27: Renault on November 28, 2020 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

Now, coming back to why he could be lured to return to minnows Alfa Romeo. The answer could be Stellantis, the fourth-largest automaker in the world. The company is headed by Carlos Tavares, the former number two at Renault. He had the ambitions to succeed Ghosn before Luca de Meo took the reigns.

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Tavares has done a remarkable job at Stellantis, overhauling its subsidiaries, Peugeot and Citroën. He’s also turned Vauxhall into a profitable operation. So, he is investigating an entry back into F1 with a project that could be Alfa Romeo.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit – December 12, 2020 Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen FIA/Handout via REUTERS

Naturally, he would want his old acquaintance to play a part. So, we may see another ambitious project in Formula 1. Alfa Romeo may be a stronger unit in the years to come under an effective leader in Abiteboul, provided it all comes to fruition.

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DIVE DEEPER

Why Renault Were Right in Parting Ways With Cyril Abiteboul

5 months ago

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Bharat Aggarwal

755 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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