Renault welcome McLaren split from 2021: 'It's better to be alone'

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Renault has brushed off the loss of their final customer team, McLaren, after 2020.

Last weekend came the sudden news that the British team would be reviving their famous partnership with Mercedes in 2021 after just three years using the French manufacturer.

This means, after the loss of both Red Bull teams in recent years, Renault will be the only outfit using their power units which to some would not be a positive sign.

However: "At the end of the day, we want to beat everyone," Renault F1 chief Cyril Abiteboul told Sky Sports.

"Last time we won, 2005 and 2006, no one was supplied by Renault apart from ourselves. I think we accept that we are limited in resources and maybe it's better not to have any distraction and be focused.

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"Also, looking at the regulations, if the standardisation effort and simplification of aero rules go ahead, we believe that the two major performance differentiators will be the engine, engine integration and installation.

"In that respect, frankly it's better to be alone and to keep for us what we are developing. We have got some faith in what we are developing and, frankly, if it's a good secret I prefer to keep it for myself."

On the other hand, McLaren's move back to Mercedes could raise questions over Renault's future in F1, with speculation swirling for 2021.

"There is absolutely no plan to exit," Abiteboul declared. "There is a situation with 2021 as we all know, there is the Concorde [Agreement] coming to an end and there will be a discussion.


"We will monitor the developments but all indications are that Formula 1 will be stronger, will be better in '21, so if we are here today there is no reason that we are not here in '21.

"But I guess maybe that has been part of the assessment of McLaren," the Renault chief suggested.

"Clearly, performance has not been enough because with their progression from P9 to P4 where today they are sitting in the championship [and] after Montreal, Spa, Monza where we had a very clear demonstration of what we have to offer in terms of pure competitiveness.

"I accept that we need to improve on reliability. I don't think that this decision has been made only on pure kilowatts," he concluded.