Renault Sport Racing’s managing director Cyril Abiteboul says it is not his decision whether the team will be rebranded Alpine after being handed an additional role by Renault CEO Luca de Meo.
A new Renault plan to develop its brands has been put in place by de Meo, with four main business units highlighted within the wider group as Renault, Dacia, Alpine and New Mobilities. Abiteboul has been tasked with leading a period of reflection around the creation, organization and implementation of the Alpine car brand, but says any change to the F1 team to promote Alpine will not be his decision.
“He has big expectations for Alpine and what he has asked me to do, on top of what I am currently doing running the team, is to provide a couple of suggestions in order to build an organization around that brand,” Abiteboul said. “Right now that brand is one model, one car — A110 — but we want to do more, and that needs an organization, an engineer department, a product department, sales, marketing and communications department.
“That’s what I like to do. That’s what I’ve done for the team, building an infrastructure and platform — that’s what I’ll be doing on top. That has absolutely no implication on the way that (F1 will be utilized).
The marketing strategy will be up to him, the way he wants to market the different plans. I’m just running the team.”
When directly asked if Renault Sport Racing could become Alpine as part of his new project, Abiteboul did not rule out the possibility but stressed that was not a decision he can take.
“These questions are not for me, they’re corporate strategy questions for the CEO. My two cents is with the new Concorde Agreement, and finally the possibility to have a stable platform in Formula 1, a great marketing platform, again the way we want to make use of that platform will be up to the CEO.
“We have a flexible platform, we have different brands. Probably rationalization will be one of the things we will need to do given group financial results. We need to optimize the way that we do things, but first there is a strategy to define and it’s not up for me to disclose.”