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Formula 1

Renault commits to F1 stay despite major cost-saving plan

by Scott Mitchell-Malm
2 min read

Renault will stay in Formula 1 beyond 2020 as cutting its works team is not part of a plan for the French company to save around €2billion.

It has committed to continuing in F1 despite a major cost-saving plan, announced on Friday morning in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

The Renault works team returned to the grid in 2016 and made swift progress to finish fourth in the constructors’ championship in 2018.

However, it suffered a setback in 2019 following the big-money signing of Daniel Ricciardo from Red Bull and fell behind customer team McLaren to finish fifth.

Thought Renault is behind its original timeline to fight for wins and titles again in F1, team boss Cyril Abiteboul has talked positively about its prospects in a post-cost cap environment.

Next season, F1 will introduce a $145m spending limit that reduces to $140m in 2022 and $135m in 2023.

That appears to have helped secure its future, as the F1 project will not be sacrificed as part of sweeping changes announced by the company on Friday to save €2billion and make around 15,000 staff redundant.

Interim Renault CEO Clotilde Delbos said it “will stay in Formula 1” while discussing the restructuring measures on Friday.

She specifically referenced the cost cap in the contest of Renault’s strategy compared to the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.

“The fact the FIA has capped expenses is great news for us,” Delbos said.

Other F1 initiatives to reduce team expenses include engine dyno restrictions and limits on engine upgrades, which will benefit Renault as one of the four engine manufacturers.

In a short statement earlier this week, Renault’s F1 team had praised the championship’s new package of cost-saving measures, some of which will come into effect immediately.

It said the changes “constitute responsible and appropriate responses to the short and long term challenges of Formula 1”.

“These decisions, supported unanimously by teams with very differing strategies, honour the remarkable work of the FIA and Formula 1 and will strengthen the discipline in the long term,” Renault added.

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