Renault: Business as usual in F1 amid Ghosn saga

Yesterday Nissan’s board, with Renault backing, voted unanimously to oust Chairman Carlos Ghosn over allegations of financial misconduct, the decision will not impact the French manufacturer’s Formula 1 programme according to Renault F1 chief  Cyril Abiteboul.

Renault have placed COO Thierry Bollore as acting CEO for the time being, inevitably triggering speculative reports suggests that Formula 1 could be lobbed off the manufacturer’s budget.

Amid the Ghosn saga, Abiteboul told reporters, “It is a substantial piece of development for the Renault group. My message is simply that there is a continuity plan of all the operations of the Renault group, as well as Nissan and Mitsubishi.”

“F1 is part of this operation. It is a project and an activity that is well known, very visible, generating a lot of exposure with clear expectations about a return on investment, and contribution to the business.

“I think the reasons why we joined F1 in late 2015 are still here today, for exposure…and for technology development. There is no reason that those factors are suddenly going away in case of any development for which I don’t want to speculate at this point of time.”

“If F1 was still a good proposition in the past, it still has reason to be in the future. It is in our hands to deliver the best possible results  for the benefit of the company.”

“I have no indication that Thierry Bollore is not keen about F1. Again, the director of our company has very good knowledge of what we are doing, so no teasing, no scepticism – just focusing on facts and what we need to deliver.”

Ghosn was keen on Formula 1 provided it made sense financially and was at the helm when their works effort was resurrected a few years ago, “It is fair to say that Carlos Ghosn was instrumental in the decision to return in late 2015, but obviously it is not one man’s decision: the decision was debated at length in executive committees and it was a decision of the company.”

“We have been racing in F1 for more than 40 years. We have been on the journey of a long term plan for six years, six years to build the team and six years to hopefully challenge these guys, so that is where the focus is at the moment.

“There is a clear continuity of all the operations with Thierry Bollore who is no stranger to F1, because he has been a director of the board of the team since 2016. So this is where we need to focus and support Renault,” added the French team chief.