Renault CEO Reportedly Dismissed Cyril Abiteboul Over Poor F1 Results

Published 03/29/2021, 3:59 AM EDT
NUERBURG, GERMANY – Renault Sport F1 Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul talks in the Team Principals Press Conference during practice ahead of the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Joe Portlock/Getty Images)


Alpine have had a strange off-season wherein the team were on the verge of exiting the sport altogether. But, then freshly-appointed CEO of parent company Renault, Luca de Meo, stepped in and the team survived. This involved the team rebranding from Renault to Alpine. There was also a change in management structure behind the scenes, which involved team principal Cyril Abiteboul being let go by the team.

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However, Ted Kravitz speculates that Abiteboul was made accountable for the team’s underwhelming performance in 2020. He believes he was fired as a result.

Alpine opted to go for an interesting management structure after the Frenchman’s departure. They have split the role of team principal among three people with the responsibilities divided based on skillset.

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Laurent Rossi will take care of the team in the broad sense, whereas Marcin Budkowski will take care of the team’s factory in Enstone. Finally, Davide Brivio is responsible for performance on the track.

F1 insider speculates Cyril Abiteboul pushed out the door by Renault

In a video for Sky F1 on their YouTube channel, Ted Kravitz spoke about how the team opted to rebrand to Alpine. He said, “Strangely over the winter, despite over the end of last season. We kinda heard that Alpine was coming in and Renault were going to rebrand.

“They said we’ve got more value, we’re gonna stay in Formula One if we can rebrand to Alpine and help flog our sporty cars, which are Alpine. We thought Cyril was gonna go up to a higher position. That didn’t work out when they finished fifth in the Constructor’s last year.”

The reporter then goes on to speculate whether the Frenchman was actually sacked for the team’s sub-optimal performance in 2020. He said, “Behind the scenes, I’m gonna stress this only scenes, nobody will confirm this officially within Renault or Alpine. But it seems that Luca de Meo, Renault’s boss decided that Cyril Abiteboul should be made accountable for them not finishing higher than fifth.”

“And whatever, he parted company with the team Luca de Meo was suddenly looking for somebody new to put in. And he appointed Laurent Rossi, who was the Renault director of strategy.”

How did Alpine fare in Bahrain?

Alpine started their post-Cyril Abiteboul era with inauspicious starts. They showed above-average performance on Saturday’s Qualifying with Fernando Alonso taking them to P8. However, the team suffered a lot of misfortune on the track during Sunday’s race.

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Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 26, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in action during practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Despite being on track to finish in the points for the team, Alonso had to retire due to issues with the brake system. His teammate Esteban Ocon continued his underwhelming Qualifying into the race as he finished a distant 13th on the grid.

Alpine will be hoping they are able to bounce back from this. Otherwise, the French team risks falling to the back of the pack very soon.

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Read More:- Why Renault Were Right in Parting Ways With Cyril Abiteboul

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Ashish Thomas

211 articles

Ashish Thomas is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having followed motorsports since age 5, Ashish holds an enviable knowledge of F1 history. Ashish holds extensive experience in sports writing, having previously worked for SportsQuest and Fansided.

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