French carmaker Renault’s continuing involvement in formula one relies on “certain conditions” being present.
That is the claim of Carlos Tavares, who is the marque’s freshly appointed chief operating officer.
After the ‘crashgate’ scandal, Renault effectively withdrew from F1 as a works team and is now only an engine supplier to the Red Bull, Lotus Renault, Team Lotus and – in 2012 – Williams teams.
“It was a reasonable decision which led us to a level of expenditure in line with our means,” Tavares is quoted in a French language report by Agence France-Presse.
“Renault does not have infinite funds,” he insisted. “This decision allowed the company to refocus its efforts on the core of the race engines.”
AFP said that instead of paying EUR 220 million to run the works Renault team in 2009, the marque now spends just 60 million on its F1 programme.
Asked about the difference in image, Tavares answered: “I don’t know that we have lost anything.”
As for the future, he said Renault’s “strategy is to be the leaders in zero-emission vehicles.
“Our commitment to F1 is long-term when the conditions of cost, image and sporting fairness are also met”, added Tavares.
“As long as the conditions are there, there is no reason to not be in F1. It has been almost 30 years that we have demonstrated our passion (for F1) and we continue to do so every day.”
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