Despite the financial uncertainty caused by the coronavirus outbreak, the Renault F1 Team remains loyal in the Formula 1 World Championship, according to team boss Cyril Abiteboul.
Abiteboul confirmed that Renault is convinced of the marketing power of Formula 1. "We believe in Formula 1 from a marketing perspective. This belief is still present."
The team principal believes the team's 2020 car, the R.S. 20 delivered promising performances at pre-season testing near Barcelona.
„Yes, although the management of Renault has a lot on his plate due to the crisis. The company's management understands the situation we are in. They are aware of the discussions in the background. I know it's been a long time, but we've had a lot of positive news in the winter.”
The Frenchman acknowledges that the Renault F1 outfit presents a relatively young structure following recent recruitments, but he believes that the changes will bear fruit in the long term. "We want to build our team on this good news, at this momentum we have. We are still a young team. We must not forget that. But we have our ambitions for the medium and long term", he concluded.
Renault entered Formula One as a constructor in 1977, introducing the turbo engine to the sport in its first car, the Renault R.S. 01. Six years later, the French manufacturer began supplying engines to other teams.
The French car-maker left the scene at the end of 1985. During this nine-year spell, Renault scored 15 wins in total and ended the year second in the Constructors’ Championship in 1983, courtesy of Alain Prost and Eddie Cheever.
In 1986, Renault was still involved in the sport as an engine supplier, working with the Lotus, Ligier, and Tyrell team. At the end of that season, the French manufacturer turned its back completely on the support, but it returned as an engine supplier in 1989.
As a works team, Renault returned in 2002 with this second spell ending in 2011 when Lotus purchased the assets of the outfit. In 2016, Renault reappeared again in the sport. The team has secured a ninth, sixth, fourth and fifth place in the Constructors’ Standings, but the relatively big gap both in pure performance and points haul to the top three teams prompted questions about the commitment of Renault to Formula 1.