New Renault CEO confirms the team's F1 future was never in doubt
New Renault CEO Luca de Meo insisted he never considered pulling the team out of Formula 1 because he would "not be the guy who turns off the light" despite the hardships of the Covid-19 pandemic on car manufacturers.
It was announced at the start of September that Renault will be re-branded as Alpine for the 2021 Formula 1 season.
With budget cuts at multiple car companies threatening different sectors of the industry, many wondered whether manufacturers would pull out of motorsports all together - much like the global economic crisis in the late 2000s.
But de Meo was firm on his stance of keeping the team in the sport, indicating the re-branding was partly down to the business implications of this year's events.
"Of course, you will always have this tension because the situation is so dramatic in general," de Meo explained.
"Especially at Renault, the easiest thing you want to do is to do this kind of thing where some people consider this a hobby.
"I am a car guy. I am not going to be the guy who turns off the light on 43 years of commitment on the series. That's not going to be on me.
"That is why I have come up with this idea to turn the thing around and build a new story that maybe from a business point of view has some potential.
"Sometimes you have to remix the ingredients that you have. That is the beauty of this story of Alpine. Of course, I have been challenged. This is a classic one. I don't know how many companies, with people in charge of the motorsports activity always has someone with the nice idea of not doing that. You can find arguments."
De Meo pointed to the regulators of the sport to ensure manufacturers involved are safeguarded through the next few years to make sure Formula 1 can be viable as a business.
"I was one of the kids when I was ten years old I went to Monza with a flag," he said.
"That's me so I am not going to [pull out]. The situation in general we are experiencing puts the responsibility on the people in the system to make sure we don't throw money out of the window otherwise it is completely justified.
"But I think that is what we are building to potentially be a good business case."
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