Renault F1 team boss Cyril Abiteboul was hosed down rumours that the French marque will be forced to shutdown their operations due to coronavirus-induced financial strain.
Renault have often stood on shaky ground when it comes to being a factory team, riding on and off the sport’s bandwagon since entering the world championship in1977.
However, there are now arising strong suggestions that Renault will not look to renew their F1 deal post 2020.
Renault car sales have crumbled and the sudden hiatus of any on-track action has seen the storied manufacturer been hit by a wave of financial uncertainty.
But Abiteboul is confident that should the company look to take drastic measures in a bid to plateau its plummeting revenue, axing its F1 program will not be of priority.
“We’ve been in Formula 1 since the ’70s,” Abiteboul told Autosport’s #thinkingforward podcast series.
“We’ve been loyal to Formula 1 and clearly as we look forward I think it’s important to stay true to your roots, to where you’re coming from, to your history, not just because of loyalty but also because it means something in the narrative that you can appeal to today’s and tomorrow’s customers.
“Motorsport has a unique value and contribution into it. That’s why we believe in it, just like we believe in a number of marketing activities, except that it’s sport, except that it’s been a core of technology.
“That’s racing, that’s emotion also, and Renault stands for emotion.
“So all of that means a lot. And that’s why we’ve been in this for decades, and we intend to do so for very long.”
2021 will see Renault have no customer teams to sell their power units too as McLaren have confirmed they will switch to Mercedes power next season.
The lack of interest from private teams within Renault is unsurprising since the outfit has only won 12 of the 121 Grands Prix staged during the turbo-hybrid era.
2019 then saw the team slump to fifth in the constructors’ standings and winter testing earlier in the year confirm Renault will continue its struggle to bridge the competitive gap between themselves and the front of the field.
Nonetheless, next season’s mandated budget cap, which has been significantly reduced from its initial proposal, has been aimed at levelling out the playing field. Something Renault is hoping will give them the break they deserve.
“[The budget cap] is very close to the level at which we’ve been operating. It’s a much better business model in my opinion,” added Abitebou.
“If the condition was good enough for a number of manufacturers to join the sport in the past, they will be even better tomorrow.
“We’ve been able to push for containing the crazy development race on the engine, and it’s really insane what we’ve been spending on the engine, and finally that’s going to change.”
To date only Esteban Ocon has signed a deal to race for the squad next season while former world champions Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso have been primed to join the Frenchman in the vacant second seat.
A revised 2020 F1 calendar is expected to be unveiled within the coming weeks with a doubleheader Austrian GP likely set to hold the opening two rounds of the championship.