Abiteboul leaves Renault as new Alpine CEO confirmed

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Renault has announced the departure of Formula 1 boss Cyril Abiteboul ahead of the team's rebranding as Alpine for 2021.

Abiteboul rejoined the French manufacturer back in 2014 as managing director of Renault Sport F1, assuming full responsibilities as team principal in 2017 after the departure of Fred Vasseur.

Since then, he led the Enstone-based squad to fourth in the Constructors' Championship in 2018 and lured Daniel Ricciardo from Red Bull in 2019.

As Renault undergoes a restructuring under new CEO Luca de Meo, Abiteboul was set to take charge of reviving the Alpine brand both on the track and on the road.

But in a surprise statement on Monday, it was announced he will depart the company and Renault Group Director of Strategy and Business Development, Laurent Rossi, will assume that role.

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“I would like to thank the Groupe Renault for having trusted me for many years, particularly with the relaunch and reconstruction of the team since 2016,” said Abiteboul.

“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, and more recently the Alpine project which provides a renewed sense of meaning and dynamism, all point to a very fine trajectory.

“I would like to thank Luca de Meo for involving me in the construction of the Alpine Business Unit and I wish the new structure every success.”

Renault chief de Meo then paid tribute to Abiteboul, adding: “I would like to warmly thank Cyril for his tireless involvement, which notably led the Renault F1 Team from the penultimate place in 2016 to the podiums last season.

“His remarkable work in F1 since 2007 allows us to look to the future, with a strong team and the new Alpine F1 Team identity to conquer the podiums this year."

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Abiteboul's exit follows news last week that Suzuki MotoGP boss Davide Brivio is set to join Alpine in the coming weeks, although claims he would become CEO are clearly now wrong after Rossi was confirmed in that role.

Instead, Brivio could simply join as team principal, while Marcin Budkowski would remain in his position of executive director.