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Engine spending war could cost F1 a manufacturer

NEWS STORY
15/10/2018

Pointing to the progress Honda has made this season, and the investment needed to make that progress, Renault's Cyril Abiteboul warns that the spending war could well result in one of the manufacturers leaving the sport.

After three largely disastrous years with McLaren, 2018 saw Honda partner with Toro Rosso, and next year the Japanese manufacturer will also supply Red Bull.

While the Woking outfit handled its difficult 'marriage' to Honda with a certain amount of dignity, attempting to keep much of the bickering and rows behind closed doors, Red Bull will be another matter entirely, for if it is unhappy, the Austrian outfit - and its star driver - will be more than happy to do the dirty washing in public.

As a result, in its efforts to raise its game this season, and again in 2019, Honda has significantly increased it spending, a move which gives Renault cause for serious concern.

"It is not a surprise because it was very clear last year already that Honda were making very rapid progress," says Abiteboul, according to Motorsport.com.

"Reliability was not there last year," he continued, "but it was extremely clear, and I remember in Spa, there was a very clear signal that Honda was on the move given the huge investment which we understand that Honda is putting in.

"It is not a surprise that this is paying off because we are still in an F1 that is rewarding how much you are spending rather than how you are spending it. And that is a concern.

"That is in my opinion untenable," he warned. "It may be paying dividends for Honda now, but at some point it will be untenable for one of the four - and who knows what will happen then.

"I think F1 cannot afford to lose one of them," he continued. "And I don't see enough decision/action being taken to alleviate that necessity to spend in a way that might be untenable in the medium to long term."

Admitting that in light of Honda's step, which will in turn lead to Renault needing to make a similar step, which will need an increase in spending, he said: "They are definitely back. They are at a similar level to us in terms of competitiveness this year because of our decision on Spec-C. That is why again we cannot sleep on next year's engine development.

"And we also need to put that in perspective of 2021, where we want to start as early as possible. As always we need to see how we can balance short term objective with long term objectives."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Yeyox02, 16/10/2018 20:49

"Everybody at F1 knows that being there means burning tones of money so........why too much fuss for this???"

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2. Posted by V10s4Me, 16/10/2018 9:55

"Put the V10's back in the cars, give the drivers 10 engines/year and plenty of fuel and let's go racing!"

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3. Posted by Ro, 16/10/2018 9:28

"@Adj, Im talking about the hybrid side of the engine....that is what will never be sen on the roads"

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4. Posted by Adj, 15/10/2018 23:25

"Ro, of course the engine won't see the road but the wealth of knowledge is used in road car design. The AMG Mervedes road car's have the turbo's in the Vee for increased performance just like the F1 engine, developments to improve efficiency will also be used in road car design as many road car's are now using small capacity engine's with turbo's! "

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5. Posted by alfsboy, 15/10/2018 21:13

"Bring back noisy V-10s,V8's . even a V 5 if its noisy and cheaper "

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6. Posted by Ro, 15/10/2018 20:31

"Makes me laugh, cos Renault was the one pushing for this engine type, now they are throwing their toys out of the pram cos they have been absolutely trounced by the others. If the FIA and Liberty Media went for a sensible engine formula and not this duck-fart sounding engine that will never ever see the road for mere mortals to drive, then we would have racing back."

Rating: Positive (3)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

7. Posted by Esteban, 15/10/2018 19:49

"Ugh can we get a decent commenting section please, Pitpass? And where the hell is The Horse Whisperer?"

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8. Posted by Esteban, 15/10/2018 19:46

""they seem to be staying in third place and not interested in jumping to first"
Cyril Abiteboul just said why, they mention in the article very clearly he said you can't win if you don't spend maximum amounts: "It is not a surprise that this is paying off because we are still in an F1 that is rewarding how much you are spending rather than how you are spending it. And that is a concern.""

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9. Posted by JClark-Monza1967, 15/10/2018 19:08

"This is just part of the picture of the larger issue of runaway spending by the manufacturers in F1. The ONLY solution is an effective spending limit. Without it, F1 as we know it will be gone in 5-7 years."

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10. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 15/10/2018 18:22

"I wonder if McLaren will have another look at Honda in future? I thought that McLaren should have just sucked it up and stuck with Honda even though they were going through such a terrible run, costing results and "partners". There is such a thing as the long game and McLaren under Ron Dennis already went through that with Ilmor in the 1990's.
I'm not knocking Renault in this as their power units have also had wins this past season, that being said, they seem to be staying in third place and not interested in jumping to first (not able to?), at least that is how it seems to me.
Honda underestimated the challenge of these over complicated power units and the required catch up after being out of F1 since 2008. That is why they are spending even more money now and as this article states, Red Bull will have no issue with throwing them under the bus should there be reliability or performance issues."

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11. Posted by NS Biker, 15/10/2018 17:20

"It would seem that Renault has a history of not wanting to do development work.
When Alonso went to McLaren (the first time), one of the things he was so pleased with was that McLaren did development work on the car during the season.
When there was the first engine freeze in the V-8 era, Renault got overtaken by Ferrari (badly) because the Italian Mob had read the rules and were developing "reliability". One - nill, and not for the French.
Cyril A. may not like the idea of having to develop in order to compete, but last time I checked, F1 was all about competing."

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