The Renault group CEO Luca de Meo has been making some interesting changes since his arrival in F1. Their team has now been renamed as ‘Alpine F1’ and a few key personnel have also come in to help elevate the French outfit’s results.
But a further step that Renault are reportedly considering is pursuing a ‘customer’ collaboration with one of the F1 teams. This, apparently, could be Williams, who could evaluate a change in their power units for 2022.
A report by Motorsport.com states, “The picture seems to lead to a single solution: the offer (by Renault) of its power units to Williams, the only team that today can evaluate the possibility of an engine change.” (translated via Google Translate)
Williams have spent much of the last few seasons finishing last on the F1 grid. Naturally, with new owners, they would want to shake things up ahead of the new technical regulations being introduced.
The report continues, “In the paddock there are those who have already made a first contact between the two sides, but there are three obstacles to overcome.”
One of the major hurdles is reportedly the existing ties that Williams have with Mercedes. The German manufacturer has continued to supply engines to the Grove-based outfit from 2014. Over time, the two teams have also built good relations via Mercedes academy graduate, George Russell.
To add to that, there is also an apparent time constraint to conclude any possible deal. Considering the 2022 cars would already be in a ‘design phase’, Renault will have to move swiftly to convince Williams.
For starters, Renault has its own academy brimming with some good racing talents. However, with Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon already occupying both cockpits, the French team will need an outlet to loan out their young drivers.
With Williams, a partnership could enable these academy graduates to get their chance in Formula 1. In addition, any technical knowledge transfer could also strengthen the ties between Renault and Williams.
Right now, though, it seems like these discussions are just in the preliminary stages. But one would do well to keep an eye on any possible developments between these two teams.