Renault claims 2022 rules will end F1 team partnerships, Racing Point not so sure

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Formula 1's plan to close up the grid will stop manufacturers from willingly helping midfield teams, Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul believes.

Starting next year, the sport will introduce two key measures aimed at ending the two-tier grid that has been clearly defined since 2017, a new $145m budget cap and aero testing restrictions which favour the slower teams.

That is expected to put at least three teams, McLaren, Racing Point and Renault, on a level financial playing field with Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.

Then, when you throw in the all-new car designs for 2022, Abiteboul thinks the assistance one team in particular appears to get currently will quickly disappear.

"We now have a fairly low [budget] ceiling and that makes the field much more competitive. I am curious about what will happen to those collaborations," he told

Renault F1 Formula 1

Also Read:

“At the moment, Mercedes is fine with Racing Point copying their car, whether legal or not that’s not the point, but they have no problem making their car competitive. I wonder if that will still be the case in 2022?

“Under the current construction with collaborating customers and manufacturers, the three large teams are protected and that will no longer be the case in the future.

Everyone becomes a threat to everyone, that is the big difference,” the Renault boss added. "The fans will be the big winners.”

Responding to Abiteboul's suggestion, however, Racing Point CEO Otmar Szafnauer believes the likes of Mercedes will still have an edge.

"I understand the theory, I just can't predict the future," he said.

"I still think the big teams will have an advantage, even in 2022. They're not going to going to wake up, bump their heads and forget how to develop a fast racing car. That just doesn't happen.

"There's more than just having the right tools, it's also having the right people, and they've had the right people for a long time, which is why they are where they are. They're not going to forget.

"And usually from what I've seen in the past when you have a wholesale technical change, it's the well-funded big guys who do a better job. I still think that's going to be the same trend.

"Maybe the difference won't be so big, and we'll be able to catch up more readily, but I still think the guys with the bigger resources and better knowledge will end up doing the better job."

The Racing Point boss also thinks the level of cooperation a manufacturer like Mercedes would be willing to have depends on what areas will be key to performance.

"There will always be some kind of differentiator in F1 where one team does a better job than the others," he stated.

"I think in time once we know what the regulations are, and the details, then we'll figure out where those differentiators are.

"If they are for example the fact that if you do your own gearbox, you've got a huge advantage, then I can see Mercedes saying, 'Well you know what, you can go and do your own gearbox, I don't want to share my gearbox with you.'

"There might be a little bit of that. I get it from an economic standpoint, but it's really, really hard to predict that."