Abiteboul: "I'm happy for Red Bull Racing and Honda"

  • 21 Jun 2018 13:14
  • comments 6
  • By: Danny Sosef

Cyril Abiteboul says he understands why Red Bull decided to drop its supply of Renault engines. The energy drink owned team announced this week that it will instead use Honda power in 2019 and 2020.

Asked by L'Equipe if he is relieved or disappointed now that the news is finally out, Renault boss Abiteboul answered: "Neither one nor the other. We got an answer after waiting almost a year. "Last year in Singapore we announced that one day we planned to stop the cooperation. We expected this separation after Renault returned as a factory team," the Frenchman explained.

"We perfectly understood that Red Bull would look for another partner to regain their status as the factory team."

Abiteboul said losing Red Bull will not affect Renault even from a marketing point of view, adding that the new cooperation with McLaren also is not for an image boost. "We supply them with engines because it is important to have two teams for data collection. For the company's interests and in terms of marketing, it starts and ends with the yellow cars of Renault Sport F1," he insisted.

Losing Red Bull, however, will cost Renault money, with some estimates saying that together with Toro Rosso the loss in income since 2017 is about EUR 25 million per year.

"We will receive less," Abiteboul confirmed, "but we will not have less to spend. "Supplying engines to Red Bull required money but did not generate much revenue. So parting with them will not affect our budget."

But at the end of the day, Abiteboul insists Renault is not "relieved" the Red Bull era is finally ending. "It's not a story that ended badly," he said. "I don't like the word relief. I prefer to talk about the logical development of events. For us I am happy, because now we can concentrate on preparing for 2021. And I'm happy for Red Bull Racing, as they have found a new partner, and for Honda, because we have four manufacturers in formula one.

"We just needed an answer, and that's why we hurried our partners a little. And I thank them for that," Abiteboul added.

Replies (6)

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  • For once I sorta believe him. He get to get rid of Red Bull, and now have McLaren to milk dry instead. Although 25 million Euro is alot of cash for them to lose... Although its dwarfed by the 100M USD per year in sponsor cash McLaren lost by ditching Honda. Now I just hope Honda will scrub that smirk of Abiteboul's face this season!

    • + 0
    • Jun 21 2018 - 13:44
  • mcbhargav

    Posts: 844

    So far, its still a win-win.

    • + 0
    • Jun 21 2018 - 16:20
  • I'm sure it's a win for Renault. Red Bull will have likely taken a step back with the Honda PU at least for the short term. If the Renault team keep moving forward then maybe they could fight for 3rd place next year.

    • + 0
    • Jun 21 2018 - 16:38
    • I dont know, I actually think its a sidestep more than a step back or forward. But a side step with more funds is still a win. Mind, it wont surprise me if Honda outdev Renault this year. But Im biased, so go figure.

      • + 0
      • Jun 21 2018 - 17:01
  • boudy

    Posts: 1,032

    Not sure it's that great for Renault since they lost their direct comparison with a leading car. Can't wait to see the Redbull Honda livery. Just don't understand the Austin Martin link up.

    • + 1
    • Jun 22 2018 - 00:53
    • True, but it was bound to happen, and no matter how much cash Renault earned from RB and no matter how good of a reference RB was, I dont think it really compensated for the spite between them. I think most of it will look the same, aside from the TAG Heuer at the front and engine bay might be moved a bit to leave room for Honda Hybrid. AM will probably remain, Honda isnt really a true rival to them since they have a different niche, and even if they leave Honda's cash will still compensate for that with ease. I definitely look forward to some RB-Honda merch. :3

      • + 0
      • Jun 22 2018 - 10:06

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