Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul has declared that the team will abstain from joining the “crazy arms race” in F1.
According to Auto Motor und Sport, Renault has just 1200 employees at Enstone and Viry. This is in comparison with 1600 employees at Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull-Honda respectively
“We now have the operation we decided to have,” team boss Abiteboul confessed.
“What we did not realise back then was that some had begun this crazy arms race, particularly Ferrari and Mercedes. That’s a different sport — a different universe.”
“Our plan was to operate at the level of the top teams. But they have continued to grow at almost our pace and with such crazy numbers that we cannot and do not want to go with them,” he continued.
Now, the top three teams have taken on a number of ‘B teams’. For example, Ferrari has Haas and Alfa Romeo, Red Bull has Toro Rosso and Mercedes is moving closer to Racing Point.
“Haas created a precedent that is difficult to go back on now,” admitted Abiteboul. “For me, there is the before Haas and after Haas eras. It changed Formula One, possibly forever. Ten teams has become four or five.”
“That’s something we did not think about in our strategy. Soon, you will not be able to win if you don’t have a B team.”
The Frenchman is aware that before gunning for Ferrari, Renault will have to tackle Haas first. He also knows that the harder things get, the harder it will be to earn more prize money or sponsors.
“We see this situation as very serious and it’s not just a problem for Renault, but for anyone who cannot afford this model.
“I don’t know how to stop this arms race, and these satellite teams are a part of that. The FIA must recognise it,” he said in conclusion.
The Frenchman is also of the opinion that the planned 2021 budget cap for may not help. According to him, it is just the opposite as less money and resources are available. Then, one team can concentrate on different aspects of the car, only then will these alliances work out.
Speaking about the possibility of McLaren and Renault adopting the same system, he said, “Perhaps we will have to talk to McLaren at some point, but this alliance could never be at the level of Ferrari and Haas, Mercedes and Racing Point, Red Bull and Toro Rosso.”