Renault only looking for beneficial engine supply deals after losing McLaren

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Renault will only consider supplying engines if they consider the partnership to be beneficial, team boss Cyril Abiteboul says.

Last month it was revealed that McLaren, their only current customer, would be switching back to Mercedes power for 2021 with the type of relationship Renault wanted proving part of their decision.

Since then, the French manufacturer has brushed off the loss of the British team, leaving them without a customer should they continue the year after next, and Abiteboul certainly isn't in a rush to change that.

“We know the team arrangements. Lots of long-standing relationships were already in existence when we went back into the sport,” he said via Crash.net.

“Williams, Racing Point, they are very loyal partners to Mercedes, the same for Haas [with Ferrari], Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Honda.

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“We’ll look at opportunities but we are not desperate. We will only jump on one opportunity if it’s a real opportunity or a possible strategic partnership.”

It is quite possible that Renault may look to any potential new entry to forge the kind of partnership that Alfa Romeo has with Ferrari for example.

However, another aspect to the loss of customer teams is a loss in political power to have a say in deciding the future direction of F1 regulations.

Given the overhaul coming for 2021 though, the Renault chief is again unconcerned.

“Maybe the problem is that we are a bit too naïve in the sport, but we never use engine supplies as a way to influence control over teams, so this doesn’t change anything,” Abiteboul said.

“The number of times we have seen McLaren or Red Bull or Toro Rosso voting in a completely different way to what we are thinking - it doesn’t remove anything.

“We need to see also how governance is developing. The plan presented gives less power to the teams, so you could argue that therefore it’s important to have a critical mass you can influence, maybe that’s something that Mercedes is considering.

“You could also argue that what is going to happen is that the FIA and Formula 1 are going to control most of the sport, full stop, so let’s not try.”

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