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Renault klopt zich op de borst voor Sirotkin en Kubica

  • Gepubliceerd op 17 jan 2018 12:45
  • comments 19
  • Door: Rob Veenstra

Dat Sergey Sirotkin en Robert Kubica door Williams opgenomen zijn in de line-up voor 2018 is mede de verdienste van het team van Renault. Dat verkondigde Renault-directeur Cyril Abiteboul aan Crash.net. De Fransman deed zijn uitspraken bij de presentatie van de Renault Sport Academy voor komend jaar, een dag voordat Williams de invulling van de stoeltjes voor dit seizoen bekendmaakte.

Abiteboul liep alvast vooruit op de zaken. De belangstelling voor rijders die een rol vertolkt hebben bij Renault is een teken dat de Franse autofabrikant weer serieus genomen wordt in de Formule 1. Hij heeft er dan ook alle vertrouwen in dat Sirotkin en Kubica het goed zullen doen bij hun nieuwe werkgever.

"Als je de situatie bij Williams in ogenschouw neemt, dan hebben we een connectie met twee van hun coureurs voor 2018", stak Abiteboul van wal. "Ik ben blij dat er mogelijkheden zijn ontstaan voor rijders waarmee we geassocieerd zijn en waarmee we samengewerkt hebben om hun profiel te vergroten en hun vaardigheden te ontwikkelen."

"Met Sergey laat het zien welke invloed Renault op het leven van een coureur kan hebben. Wij waren als team zeer onder de indruk van zijn capaciteiten om de dynamiek van de auto te doorgronden en om de bolide te ontwikkelen. Hij heeft in mijn ogen zeker de benodigde kennis en het talent om het ver te schoppen in de Formule 1."

"Voor Robert hoop ik dat dit programma aansluit op zijn ambities en mogelijkheden", zei hij tot slot over de rol van reserve- en ontwikkelingscoureur voor Kubica.

Reacties (19)

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  • Als je het zo bekijkt dan is het inderdaad een "verdienste" van Renault. Maar ergens heb ik het vermoeden dat Sirotkin hoe dan ook F1 zou bereiken, zij het door talent, Renault of... geld.

    • + 0
    • 17 jan 2018 - 12:54
    • Caramba

      Posts: 5.786

      Ik vind het toch een rare gedachtenkronkel. Ik zie niet hoe een contract bij een afdalend team elders "een teken is dat de Franse autofabrikant weer serieus wordt genomen".

      Misschien bedoelt ie dat Renault zichzelf weer serieus aan het nemen is en de heren daarom geen contract aanbood. Nou dat is een start. Maar meer ook niet.

      • + 1
      • 17 jan 2018 - 13:03
  • Beide coureurs zijn afgetest en niet goed genoeg bevonden door Renault. Ook de dikke zak met geld van Sirotkin heeft Renault niet op andere gedachten kunnen brengen.

    • + 0
    • 17 jan 2018 - 13:03
    • Renault is gewoon een fabrieksteam hoor. Bij Ferrari hoef je ook niet aan te bellen met alleen een zak geld.

      • + 0
      • 17 jan 2018 - 14:48
    • Mojito

      Posts: 4.843

      Nou, ik denk dat als je bij Ferrari met een grote zak geld aanbelt, ze je toch wel even uitnodigen binnen te komen.

      • + 1
      • 17 jan 2018 - 15:01
    • Renault is een fabrieksteam in opbouw, dus als ze Sirotkin goed genoeg vonden konden ze zijn zak met geld echt wel gebruiken imo.

      • + 0
      • 17 jan 2018 - 16:12
  • Sirotkin wordt erg de grond in geboord, maar ik heb een zeer hoge pet van hem op sinds dit artikel van zijn hand: https://goo.gl/3BtL4Y

    • + 2
    • 17 jan 2018 - 13:03
  • geka

    Posts: 119

    sirotkin beetje ala die zweed bij sauber verwacht ik

    • + 0
    • 17 jan 2018 - 13:07
    • Sirotkin is beter dan Ericsson, dat denk ik zeker wel

      • + 0
      • 17 jan 2018 - 13:12
    • geka

      Posts: 119

      ik hoop het ook, vrees het ergste

      • + 0
      • 17 jan 2018 - 19:18
  • wat een enorme l*l is die Abiteboul toch eigenlijk. Gelukkig heeft hijn nog een prijsje gewonnen dit jaar;

    Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul made few friends this past season and thus has the dubious accolade of 2017 Villain of the Year for his shenanigans.

    Frederic Vasseur departed the team after a short tenure as team principal citing ‘difference in vision’ for the future of the French team after which Abiteboul declared the role of team principal obsolete.

    His treatment of Jolyon Palmer was decidedly shoddy, the Briton getting the boot shortly after Abiteboul suggested that the underperforming driver might be with the team in 2018.

    Abiteboul’s war of words with Toro Rosso was uncalled for and it was very strange that after that tete-a-tete the Red Bull-owned team never performed at a level they were accustomed to earlier in the season.

    Coincidentally they were pipped by Renault in the constructors’ championship standings in the final races of the season in which they were plagued by mysterious reliability problems, of course, Abiteboul’s team denied any wrong-doing.

    Whatever the case our readers agree that Cyril was not a nice guy in 2017 and the fact that he ‘beat’ perennial villain Bernie Ecclestone to the ‘award’ is quite telling.

    • + 0
    • 17 jan 2018 - 13:15
    • Abiteboul maakt er qua communicatie nog al een "bietenboel" van. Ze kunnen m beter De Bietenbrug noemen

      • + 0
      • 17 jan 2018 - 13:19
  • Volgende week wordt bekend gemaakt dat Palmer aan de Renault Clio Cup gaat meedoen en wordt er gekopt:

    “Renault klopt zich op de borst voor Jolyon Palmer.”

    • + 0
    • 17 jan 2018 - 13:16
  • Abiteboul verziekt een beetje de sympathie van Renault voor mij. Spreken alsof ze overal top of de box in zijn.

    • + 2
    • 17 jan 2018 - 14:08
  • rickf1

    Posts: 1.623

    Straks probeert hij ook nog z'n Renault motoren aan Williams te slijten zodat het Renault fabrieksteam met een Mercedes motor de baan op kan.

    • + 0
    • 17 jan 2018 - 14:32
  • Geef hem even een kans jongens!

    • + 0
    • 17 jan 2018 - 16:13
    • Wie? Sirotkin? Geen probleem. Die wil ik wel een kans geven.

      Abiteboul daarentegen........ No!

      • + 1
      • 17 jan 2018 - 19:06
  • jd2000

    Posts: 4.690

    Nou Williams mag Renault wel op hun blote knietjes bedanken dat ze deze twee kanjers hebben laten gaan. Wat een prietpraat........

    • + 0
    • 17 jan 2018 - 17:29
  • Heb hier een mooi stuk over de vreselijke Cyril Abiteboul.
    Ik heb de lijst met power unit failure's er tussenuit geknipt.
    Het is een lang stuk maar wel spijker op de kop;

    Is Abiteboul the man to lead Renault?

    Renault have been something of an enigma this season, while Red Bull have managed to win with the TAG Heuer version of the French company’s power units but at the same time reliability has plagued the works team as well as Red Bull themselves and the sister team Toro Rosso.

    For 2018 Toro Rosso have opted to change to Honda power, with McLaren joining the Renault ranks as a customer which will up the ante substantially and put the spotlight on what Renault can deliver to dislodge the Woking outfit from the depths they have sunk to in recent years.

    Analysing the season so far for drivers powered by the RE17 engine makes for grim reading.This is a catalogue of failings by Renault that only Honda’s pitiful project managed to ‘better’ during the course of the season.

    That Red Bull can survive the reliability woes and actually post wins is nothing short of a miracle, a tribute to what is an obviuosly awesome chassis and the resilience of their drivers Ricciardo and Verstappen.

    While their main rivals Mercedes and Ferrari have, in the three years of the hybrid turbo era, produced increasingly reliable engines makes one question exactly what Renault are doing.

    It’s difficult to point fingers, but in life – be it in the corporate world or sporting environment – the manager in charge is ultimately accountable. If managers in Formula 1 were treated like their counterparts in football, few would still be in the positions they are in as the axe would have swung many times in recent years.

    The decision making process within Renault Sport has to be questioned and the fact is we don’t have top look to far to unearth a collection of gaffes made at the highest level within the organisation’s Formula 1 project headed by Cyril Abiteboul.

    At the Mexican Grand Prix it was obvious that Renault had given their teams the thumbs up to dial up the wick and as a result Verstappen was only narrowly pipped to pole by Sebastian Vettel, Ricciardo was seventh, Hulkenberg eighth, Sainz ninth and Hartley 13th. Gasly did not complete a lap in the session.

    All looked good for the apparently upwardly mobile Renault entourage. Yes, 24 hours later Verstappen powered to a runaway victory, but for rest of the Renault powered clan it was a woeful day at the office. Ricciardo was first to go with a turbo failure, followed shortly after by Hulkenberg and Hartley with power unit related problems.

    Credit to Abiteboul for putting his hand up and admitting afterwards, “For its part, the Mexican Grand Prix was particularly difficult with a number of unacceptable mechanical problems. We have the clear intention to take fast and strong measures. Clearly we have not been successful in balancing performance and reliability.”

    Now that’s a monster admission which in layman’s terms means that Renault got their maths wrong, told the teams to unleash the horses only to find that it was the wrong call and three engines went up-in-smoke as a result.

    In Brazil it leaked out that in the aftermath of the Mexican carnage, Renault spare parts are scarce!

    How did they even countenance the decision to up the power on all the Renault units in the field when the spares bin was alarmingly low. Surely at this level someone would be doing a stock take before telling their boss that it was all systems go for full gas high altitude weekend at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. Apparently not.

    Abiteboul’s post-Mexico modesty was short-lived.

    Toro Rosso have had a miserable time in recent races. Poor Hartley has yet to start a race from where he qualified. The WEC World Champion, used to Porsche bullet-proof reliability, has in three races received engine related penalties amounting to 95 grid place drops!

    Needless to say the Honda bound outfit have not been happy with the situation, as a customer they have been on the receiving end of atrocious products during the latter half of the season as they are embroiled in a battle for sixth in the constructors championship with… you guessed it Renault!

    Of course questions were asked, but Abiteboul blaming Toro Rosso for incorrect assembly of the Renault engine to the chassis was pure provocation. What are the Renault seconded engineers doing at Toro Rosso then? Why was this not a problem early on in the season?

    Abiteboul ignited a shit-storm of major proportions with his allegations. And here is where the Renault problem lies: Monsieur Abiteboul.

    A big team with big ambitions needs a big boss, unfortunately for the French outfit Abiteboul does not tick the box and his actions speak louder than words.

    Opinions garnered from paddock insiders describe Abiteboul as “shrewd, well-connected and intelligent” but at the same time “arrogant, irritable, self-righteous and confrontational.”

    One could call the poaching by Renault of Marcin Budkowski as a shrewd move. Indeed the appointment irked the entire paddock as the former FIA technical chief is privy to top secret info on all the major teams. As astute as it might seem the hire Budkowski , the move could also come back and bite Renault. More of that for another time…

    Also shrewd at the time was hiring of Frédéric Vasseur as team principal, a man who knows a thing or two about racing and teams. But that was short-lived because Abiteboul neglected to provide Vasseur the power to implement his vision for the team. Frustration festered and soon he was out the door claiming that “too much different vision in the management.”

    After which Abiteboul made a not so shrewd declaration when he said, “The team principal role is something unique from team to team.. as far as I am concerned, we will not replace Fred in the capacity of team principal.”

    In other words in Abiteboul’s world the role of team principal is obsolete. Strange call because no team has won a Formula 1 world title without the leadership of a team principal.

    Problem with approaching people within Formula 1 (team members and media) for any character comment is that no one wants to go on the record when being critical regarding managers, management of teams or drivers for that matter. Too many doors will close and risking one’s livelihood for the sake of a story is hardly an attractive option.

    Off the record there are many stories that bury Abiteboul, but few will put their money where their mouth is and thus this remains paddock chit-chat. Fortunately the proof is out there.

    An example of how two faced he can be is illustrated by the case of Jolyon Palmer. The above stats show that the Englishman suffered a large lump of Renault’s bad reliability.

    In August this year Abiteboul said, “If he manages to turn around the situation, which he did last year, we are completely open to a future between the team and Jo for one more season.”

    Less than two months later Palmer was out the door, unceremoniously dumped for Sainz. Why the false hope?

    Robert Kubica was also led to believe he was in with a chance with the French team, but was also thwarted by the Sainz development.Before ditching the Kubica option, Abiteboul said in July, “What I can tell you is that he is still quick, he is still very consistent and more importantly he has this energy and this drive, this enthusiasm that he has always had.”

    And added, “We’ve not seen any obvious roadblocks.”

    On another front, ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix, Red Bull were expecting a major upgrade to their power unit but this did no happen. Then it was believed that the upgrade would be rolled out for Baku. Again it was a no show.

    Instead Abiteboul changed the parameters and dropped a bombshell in Montreal when he insisted, “Frankly the next big upgrade will be next year. Then we will have a completely new concept. That will make a difference – but as I said 2018.”

    “Red Bull, as always, is making wrong communication about performance development. Frankly, what I want to play down is this sort of focus on the upgrade because the engine is improving every weekend,” declared the Frenchman.

    Truth be told the engine did perform better on certain occasions in the latter half of the season, but at the expense of reliability. Did it improve? Good question.

    As an engine supplier, to customers who pay big bucks for the service, Renault appear to have have a ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ attitude which has irked Red Bull and clashes between the two organisations a couple of years ago have been well documented. Horner and Abiteboul were reportedly close to blows at one stage. Shouting matches were frequent.

    The animosity was such that FIA penned the R’ed Bull Clause’ to the 2017 regulations which states: that “any action and/or make any omission, deceptive, misleading or disparaging or negative comments, which directly injures, damages or brings into disrepute the public reputation, goodwill or favourable name or image of the other party to the supply agreement.”

    Since then Red Bull have been notably tight lipped amid numerous engine failures and engine related grid penalties.

    Most recently Red Bull management moved swiftly to diffuse flare-up between Abiteboul and Toro Rosso chief Franz Tost. The latter taking exception to the above-mentioned criticism, in Brazil, of the way his team fit Renault power units to their chassis.

    Most recently Red Bull management moved swiftly to diffuse flare-up between Abiteboul and Toro Rosso chief Franz Tost. The latter taking exception to the above-mentioned criticism, in Brazil, of the way his team fit Renault power units to their chassis.

    The alliance only exists because Red Bull had no alternative but to accept staying with Renault power because Ferrari and Mercedes have no interest in supplying the energy drinks outfit. But the caveat is that Red Bull do not moan too loud in public.

    Which brings us to Fernando Alonso…

    Had Renault (including Alain Prost in the toothless role of special adviser) been shrewd and serious about becoming a force again they would have broken the bank to lure Alonso to the team. The Spaniard remains one of the best drivers in Formula 1 with at least two or three years in him at the highest level.

    He knows what it takes to win championships and has been in big teams for most of his career. Leading Renault, granted completely different team right now, to two titles in 2005 and 2006.

    Honestly Nico Hulkenberg has turned from a hot property years ago to a journeyman, while Sainz is a young gun out to prove himself. Neither two are drivers around which they can build a championship challenging team. Alonso is the real deal.

    Abiteboul thought differently, “It’s the future that we’re worried about. [Alonso] has his dynamic, I think he has urgency to be in a position to be fighting for championships again. We know that it’s going to take us a bit of time to have a car that can offer that, so clearly the one thing that I would not want is to have a frustrated Fernando in a Renault car, that’s for sure.”

    But what Abiteboul wanted to prevent he will get in another guise. Instead the Spaniard remains with McLaren for next year after three miserable years with Honda. But the kicker is that now Alonso will be powered by Renault and, with McLaren management, he has huge expectations. Winning immediately or at least matching Red Bull is clearly on the agenda at Woking.

    As things look right now, Renault might not be the plug-and-play Valhalla that Zak Brown and his merry men envisage – this is where it could get real juicy.

    A Kvyat, a Palmer, a Hulkenberg, a Hartley bitching about their engines hardly cause any ripples. But if and when Alonso is let down by an engine failure or two or three or more, the fall-out will be huge. Ask Honda F1 chief Yusuke Hasegawa.

    Alonso and McLaren will not keep quiet if performance and reliability does not match expectations, imagine the conundrum if Abiteboul dares to throw a spear their way as he did with Toro Rosso.

    Thus the McLaren-Renault partnership could well be the placing of the guillotine over Abiteboul’s head.

    If it goes well – namely beating Mercedes and Ferrari (easy!) – then everyone will be happy. But if Alonso endures a season of more engine pain, the noise will be deafening and the column inches massive.

    There will be no place to hide for Abiteboul and his track record suggests he won’t seek to hide but rather go toe-to-toe with the detractors, which in the end could trigger his demise.

    But this is all pure speculation and crystal ball gazing. By all accounts Abiteboul’s saving grace is that he is well connected within the Renault organisation who groomed him since he left university.

    He joined Renault at Boulogne-Billancourt in 2001. By 2007 he was Business Development Manager for the Renault F1 team and went on to become Executive Director of Renault Sport F1 in 2010. In 2012 he was appointed as team principal of renault powered Caterham and was at the helm when team owner Tony Fernandes pulled the plug on the operation.

    In mid-2014, Renault confirmed Abiteboul’s return as managing director of Renault Sport F1. Clearly someone high up at Renault has a soft spot for Cyril who is obviously homegrown ‘talent’ which must succeed at all costs.

    Proper success in Formula 1 requires a special leader: a Ross Brawn, a Jean Todt, a Toto Wolff, a Ron Dennis, even a Christian Horner. Sadly for the French team, with massive Formula 1 pedigree, in Abiteboul they do not have the right man for the role.

    Perhaps most alarming is the school of thought in the paddock that he may be the kind of guy who would rather take the whole Renault F1 operation down with him than concede defeat and hand over the reigns to someone capable.

    He warned a couple of years ago that Renault would leave “if Formula 1 is that bad for Renault’s reputation, if we see that we struggle with the current formula, if Formula 1 is not delivering the value that it costs to Renault.”

    As managing director of Renault F1 Sport he would pack substantial clout in convincing decision makers within the company to ditch Formula 1, if he wanted to or was forced to do so to save face.

    Interesting times lie ahead for Renault and their F1 customers.

    • + 0
    • 17 jan 2018 - 18:52

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