Cyril Abiteboul gone as Renault principal before Alpine rebranding

Andrew Cummings
January 13, 2021

It was expected Abiteboul would shift to a less-Formula 1 focused role concentrating on Renault's performance brand Alpine and its planned growth in 2021, which aligned with the renaming of the Renault F1 Team.

After finishing ninth in the constructors' championship with just eight points to its name in 2016, Renault jumped up to sixth place in 2017, before going on to claim its best result since making its comeback as a works squad by clinching fourth place in the teams' standings in 2018, racking up 122 points - nearly double what it achieved the year before.

"The solid foundations of the racing team and the entities in France and England built over these years, the strategic evolution of the sport towards a more economically sustainable model".

Renault F1 boss Abiteboul to leave team ahead of Alpine shake-up

Abiteboul, 43, joined Renault in 2001 and has spent most of his career there, apart from a stint at the head of the Caterham F1 team from 2012 to 2014. The Renault F1 team will be rebranded as Alpine F1 this year, with the firm also backing an LMP1 operation in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Despite the encouraging progress made between 2016-2018, the podium target had not been met, while Renault slipped back behind midfield rivals McLaren to fifth place during an underwhelming 2019 season.

Hybrid and electric vehicles held up better than traditional cars in the second quarter and in the last three months of the year, orders in this segment were up 14% from a year earlier in Europe, Renault said.

He said, "I thank Luca de Meo for being involved with the construction of the Alpine business unit and I wish from the bottom of my heart the success of the new structure that he can claim".

Renault say Rossi, who was previously their director of strategy and business development, will "take charge of Alpine Cars, Sport, F1 and competition activities" and will report to Groupe Renault CEO De Meo.

Though, what changes Alpine will have ahead of its 2021 its awaited to be seen, as most of the current setup in the team was created by Abiteboul.

Speculation was rife last week that recently departed Suzuki MotoGP team manager Davide Brivio was linked to the role.

Abiteboul has headed the Renault outfit since it rejoined the grid five years ago.

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