They could always pay a penalty to leave the contract early. They might do that, with the McLaren decision they have no customer teams after 2020 to help with the cost of powerplant development, and their factory team is not performing as well as their customer team.Ground Effect wrote: ↑Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:39 amRenault are actually the only team officially signed beyond 2020.loner wrote: ↑Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:18 amhttps://twitter.com/RenaultF1Team/statu ... 0918944768
will Renault pull the plug after 2020 ?!!
My guess is that McLaren decided to move back to Mercedes partly because Renault could not provide with sufficient assurance that they would even be in F1 after 2020.
LibertyF1, IMHO, has a problem of their own making. By keeping most of the current engine specification after 2021, they are trying to lock in existing suppliers, whose R&D costs are mostly spent, but this means that no new suppliers will join (Porsche apparently seriously considered joining but said No after the FIA decided to keep the MGU-H in the new regulations), and if suppliers leave F1, the existing suppliers, under their contracts, will have to supply more teams to make up the shortfall.
The best answer would be a clause in team and engine supplier agreements that mandates a standard engine supplied by a third party if the number of suppliers falls below 3. That would assure continued equitable power plant supply, and also provide the existing suppliers (including Ferrari, the 350 pound gorilla) with an incentive to work together to ensure that existing suppliers stay in the sport.
In the meantime, I consider it very possible that Renault will walk away. Remember that they only agreed to stay after a contentious meeting where Ron Dennis intervened forcefully. Renault were not happy with the commercial terms, and were threatening to leave F1. Ron apparently shouted "just pay them the ***king money".