Abiteboul ‘exasperated’ by backtracking rivals

Date published: December 10 2019

Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul is frustrated after rival teams went back on plans to scrap the “stupid” Q2 tyre regulation ahead of next year’s championship.

Renault, like F1’s other midfield teams, is often hampered by the Q2 tyre rule which states that any driver making it through to Q3 has to start the grand prix on the tyres they used in Q2.

This has often handed an advantage to the leading three teams who have such a pace advantage that they make it through to Q3 on the slower tyres.

It also means anyone starting from P11 downwards has free tyre choice and therefore more strategy options.

As such the teams had planned to scrap the rule for 2020 only for some to backtrack at the last minute.

Abiteboul told Motorsport.com: “It was agreed in the Strategy Group, everyone agreed [to vote against the rule]. Then when it comes to a vote, all the arrangements seemed to come back, and frankly I’m exasperated by that.

“There was a lobby from the top teams and their junior teams to stop a change, because it’s a regulation that was engineered by the top teams to protect them. I don’t think they need it, but it’s an extra protection.

“It’s also something that’s helping teams that are customers or are affiliated to the top teams, and the ones that are squeezed are what I call the ‘middle class’, it’s us and McLaren in most cases.

“In fairness, sometimes it’s been to our advantage, when we were outside the top 10 – Mexico and Suzuka for example. But it’s not because it’s sometimes to our advantage that we should keep it.

“It’s a stupid regulation, it needs to go away. No one is doing anything about it, and frankly I am exasperated to see it happening again.”

Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1 and like our Facebook page.