“We all know that they have an illegal car”- Cyril Abiteboul firebacks at Racing Point after the latter complains about Fernando Alonso test session.
Racing Point and Renault have locked horn several times this season, with the latest one being the dispute over Fernando Alonso driving for his new team in the young drivers’ test, despite being a veteran driver.
Racing Point’s team principal Otmar Szafnauer’s primary complaint was that if this was the condition then they could have also asked for Sebastian Vettel doing the same session for them.
Even Red Bull’s Christian Horner joined the bashing of Renault and said, if Alonso could do the young drivers test, then their side must call Nigel Mansell.
“Maybe we could get @nigelmansell to come and do the young driver test…”@RedBullRacing‘s Christian Horner on the news @alo_oficial will drive for @RenaultF1Team in the young driver test at @ymcofficial. #F1
— RaceFans (@racefansdotnet) December 4, 2020
Cyril Abiteboul finds it ironical
Renault manager hits back at Racing Point and remarked that when it is about rules, Racing Point shouldn’t complain, even though he claims Renault did everything under FIA’s permit.
Asked about Szafnauer’s comments, Abiteboul said: “There is an indication of young drivers, plus anyone that the FIA will give permission to. And that’s in the absolute right of the FIA to do that.
“So if Otmar wants to build a claim against the FIA, that would be quite rich, keeping in mind that we all know that they have an illegal car,” he added. “We have accepted to settle that one. But if you want to have a go now at the FIA, I would find it quite ironic.”
“Why is it necessary?” he said of Alonso’s participation in the test. “I mean, I’m going to be very straightforward. What’s necessary is to give the team the absolute best possible platform to build upon for next year.
“No one is here for anything other than absolute performance,” he continued, “and when teams are not here for performance, they are doing things for commercial purpose, and when they are doing that for commercial purpose, there are all sorts of critics in relation to that.
“Clearly we are not doing that with Fernando for commercial purposes, we are doing that for the sport, for our own competitiveness. And again, that’s the case of every single entity.
“So, we’ve been very straightforward, we’ve been clear with the FIA, clear with F1 about what we were doing. There are limits in what we can do anyway,” he continued.
“Frankly, it’s still very much part of Fernando’s going back into shape and stretching his legs. He’s been amazing in the driving of the two-year-old car, we’ve done four days of that.”
“He will have one more day of that. That’s particularly important in the context of next year, we will have only three days to share across the two drivers of winter test.”
“I know it’s the same for everyone. But again, that’s also one reason why we’ve asked for that. FIA has taken the time to wait for our request and has given them permission, but that’s very much around Fernando, rather than around the development of the car.”