McLaren announced at the Russian Grand Prix that it will be switching to Mercedes from 2021, meaning Renault will be left only building engines for itself.
But while Mercedes sees benefit in supplying a number of customer teams, Renault is adamant that there will be positive from being able to concentrate only on its works team.
Speaking at the Japanese Grand Prix, Renault F1’s managing director Cyril Abiteboul was clear that there would be no downside in the short term, and there could actually be a smaller benefit from 2021.
“In particular for next year there is no impact because the engine for next year is done,” he said. “It’s on the dyno already, you know that it’s a long lead-time development, so nothing is going to impact what we are doing for 2020.
“It’s going to impact what we could be doing for 2021 on the basis that, when you have multiple customers, in particular the way that Renault is doing it, we always try to satisfy everyone to take on board all the comments in terms of installation, and so on and so forth, so that will be one less distraction. We will be able to focus on ourselves and just on ourselves. And that’s it.”
While the loss of a customer team could be viewed as delivering a financial hit to Renault’s F1 operation, the price limits on supply deals allied to the way that the French car manufacturer out-sources a lot, meant that it never made a profit from selling power units.
“From an economic perspective, there is absolutely no impact and nothing in it, because we sell, more or less, at a cost due to the price cap limitation,” added Abiteboul.
“So, frankly, it’s nothing, that it’s good news, because, you know, it’s always satisfying to see your product being used by multiple teams. But in terms of what we need to achieve and deliver for Renault it has absolutely no impact.”