Renault prepared to handle Alonso says Abiteboul

SEPTEMBER 23, 2020

Renault prepared to handle Alonso says Abiteboul

Fernando Alonso, Brazilian GP 2017
© RV Press

The 'party mode' ban did not alter the team hierarchy in Formula 1, according to Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul.

The ban came down at Monza, and it had been expected to chip away at Mercedes' clear engine power advantage.

But Abiteboul told Auto Motor und Sport: "The pecking order is still the same.

"I actually only see one difference and that is the first lap and the laps after restart. The differences are not so large now."

For its part, Renault is happy with its 2020 season so far, having played down expectations prior to the season.

The future is also now looking brighter, with Renault having committed to the new Concorde Agreement and vowed to rebrand as Alpine for 2021 and beyond.

Fernando Alonso is also re-joining the team for 2021, to replace Daniel Ricciardo. That may not be great news for Esteban Ocon, however, who has struggled to shine even alongside Ricciardo so far this year.

"Daniel is a very strong driver," Abiteboul said. "He got even stronger this year because the car and the collaboration with the engineers is better.

"But Esteban is slowly coming back after a year off and he's not as far from Daniel as it may seem. Ok, he made a mistake in Mugello but it shows me that he's attacking and wants more, which I prefer over a driver who simply accepts the status quo and the team hierarchy."

The incoming Alonso, however, is a notoriously difficult character - but Abiteboul says he is ready for the Spaniard.

"We are prepared for it," said the Frenchman.

"I assume that our car will look even better next year, and when Fernando sees the progress, it will awaken the racer in him.

"Where we certainly have to improve is the execution. We know from Fernando that he doesn't make mistakes, so we will have no excuses."

(GMM)

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