“We’ve not changed our position”- Cyril Abiteboul claims Renault will oppose Engine Freeze despite their rivals supporting it.
Red Bull has demanded the engine freeze for 2022 as they claim that they are not financially capable of building their own power unit while Honda will leave them after the end of the 2021 season.
Initially only supported by Mercedes, the cause is now even backed by Ferrari despite their earlier reservations. However, Renault has denied changing its stance and the opposing stand by their rivals will not change anything.
“There has been a meeting where we all expressed our position,” Abiteboul told Sky Sports F1. “We’ve not changed our position.
“There is a set of regulations,” he continued. “We are ready for some sort of compromise, in particular in the engine freeze because we accept convergence is happening, so spending big money is crazy.
“Having said that there is clearly a line. We will not turn our backs on 70 years of competition on engines, engine development and performance.
“For us, the engine as a performance differentiator is at the core of F1. It’s what it means for us. We will not cross that line, that is very clear.” he said.
Empathize with Red Bull
While Abiteboul doesn’t want the absolute freeze on the engine, he said that the problem with Red Bull is a serious one, and the solution has to be found.
“We need to find a solution for Red Bull,” he said. The current sporting rules would oblige Renault to supply engines to Red Bull and its sister squad AlphaTauri if called upon.
“There is already a solution in the regulation,” responded Abiteboul. “We never say never. In particular, we have always said we would comply with the regulations. If we have the obligation, we will do so.”
“If they can do it with Honda then all the best, but we should not go further than that,” he said. “[But] if we need to write in the regulations that Red Bull should have the best engine, that’s something different. But I think this is not what’s at stake here.”