Cyril Abiteboul has time and again addressed the fact that F1 needs to sort out the B-team component that is fostering in the sport.
In the first team principal’s conference of the year, Abiteboul did not waste any time in calling out Red Bull for helping Toro Rosso develop a strong enough car to win the midfield battle.
At the end of of the first free practice in Australia, Daniil Kyvat put in a better time than both Renault drivers, and while FP timings cannot be taken as a basis for clear car development, Abiteboul knows what is happening behind the scenes.
In an interview with Sky Sports, Abiteboul has made it clear that he feels Red Bull have been clearly helping out Toro Rosso, especially because Toro Rosso have been without a team principal.
“Just look at Toro Rosso, who in my opinion are likely to be the team to beat as far as we’re concerned for the start of the season given where we are,” said the Abiteboul as quoted by Sky F1.
On the F1 B-team debate – Cyril Abiteboul tells Sky he thinks Toro Rosso will be the team to beat in the early part of the year: "They didn't have a technical director for most of last season. It's quite clear what's going on" #F1 #AusGP
— Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1) March 15, 2019
Sore loser or does he have a point? @RenaultF1Team's Cyril Abiteboul is unhappy with the performance of rival mid-field squad Toro Rosso, saying the Faenza outfit exemplifies the need to rein in the development of B-Teams in F1. https://t.co/cw0epWZCnY
— F1i (@F1icom) March 15, 2019
“Toro Rosso had no technical director for most of last season. It’s very clear what went on.
“So we don’t even need a technical director to produce what is a very competitive car. For us that’s a problem.” he added.
Abiteboul had earlier spoken about how teams like Williams, McLaren and Renault are supposed to survive in a sport where all teams have allegiances with midfield teams in lieu of being supposed ‘B-teams’.
He spoke about how maybe Renault will have to speak to McLaren about forming an allegiance in the future.
He wanted the FIA to intervene and sort these things out, especially when new rules kick in from 2021.
“There was a before and after Haas that has created a precedent,” Abiteboul had said.
“I’m not challenging, but I’m just saying how do we move forward for teams like us, like McLaren, like Williams?
“But also how does a manufacturer that’s currently not in Formula 1 that wants to join Formula 1, how is it they will seriously contemplate reaching Formula 1 if it’s not possible to win without a B-team?
“For me that’s a strategic question we have to consider for the discussion for 2021. For ’19 and ’20 that’s gone now, we are gone with that type of set-up. But for 2021 I hope everyone realises how serious a question it is.” he had added.