Renault: F1 needs a more competitive product, and new regulations will bring it
Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul is one team boss who seemingly can’t wait for the new F1 regulations to be introduced, as he reckons it is vital that the product becomes more competitive.
Over the past couple of seasons, only Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull have had legitimate aspirations of winning a grand prix, with the rest of the constructors fighting in the middle of the rankings or lower.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, new regulations were set to be introduced in 2021 which would aim to level the playing field, with a budget cap one of the main outlined factors.
That has since been pushed back to 2020, but Abiteboul thinks that, when it eventually happens, the sport will only benefit from the changes.
“We need to move away from the two-tier system,” the Frenchman told Autocar.
“On one side, we’re doing an excellent job with new marketing initiatives such as Netflix and F1 city festivals, but if we really want to capture this new audience, we need to have a sport that’s much more competitive than the one we have now.
“What I really like about the  regulations is that, for the first time, we have defined them for the show, rather than having a show that is a consequence of a set of regulations.”
As for Renault, they had set a target for themselves of closing the gap to the top three in 2019 in order to fight for podium spots. That didn’t happen, with McLaren emerging as the fourth-best team on the grid.
Abiteboul believes there will come a point when Renault will no longer be able to “hide” from their failures.
“For sure, we will not be able to hide forever,” he admitted.
“The expectation has to be realistic and reasonable. But yes, [in 2022] we can’t hide if we aren’t capable of fighting for podiums.
“We don’t expect to dominate, but fighting for podiums is the target.”
The French team finished the 2019 world championship in fifth, and will have a partnership of Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon when the 2020 campaign eventually gets underway.
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