If there’s a year that’s going to be ‘it’ for Formula 1’s long-suspected future, then its 2021. This is a year where a lot is going to change regarding the fastest competition in all of the motorsports. Steps that can make the sport far more interesting and telling than what it really is at the moment, all of it resides in what’s set to happen a year down the line. But in the midst of it all, if there’s a team that’s not quite sure of its future beyond 2020, then its Renault.
The Cyril Abiteboul-led side made a telling confession about its future beyond 2020. Sharing the fact that they are not sure of supplying customer engines to McLaren, Renault has sort of dropped a heavy slab of weight in a room where all was still and calm.
Renault Contributing to McLaren’s improvement
After all, we have all seen the marked improvement that the newly-anointed McLaren-Renault alliance has brought about.
From the 10 races held so far with the season having touched the halfway mark already, McLaren is currently fourth where the Constructor Standings are concerned.
Far from holding any chances of playing a crucial role in the constructor title, McLaren has, nonetheless, fought back from an elongated period of obscurity that saw them plunge to their lowest ebb.
Remember the 2014-17 seasons?
Their competitiveness, arguably raised from a competitive Renault engine coupled with an excellent aerodynamic design has gripped the attention of their fans. It also helps that a former Renault driver and a passionate Alonso fan, Carlos Sainz Jr. is driving home some useful points for a visibly-reinvigorated outfit.
Meanwhile, Renault, themselves haven’t done that bad, finding themselves just ahead of Alfa Romeo Racing, on fifth.
With 39 points and an in-form Daniel Ricciardo, Renault’s improvement is a far interesting story any day than any concerns that there may have been in the Australian driver’s mind prior to his new season in his new outfit.
With Ricciardo doing the bulwark of scoring for the Abiteboul-driven unit, Renault is among the best of the rest in a strong midfield pack that sees them locking horns (and often bettering) Alfa Romeo and Scuderia Toro Rosso.
Yet, news about Renault probably abstaining from supplying customer engines is a surprising one indeed. The current slew of rumors, not that there’s ever dearth of any in F1, suggest that McLaren could switch to Mercedes power starting 2021.
This could be something on the lines of Racing Point, although, McLaren would hope not as the otherwise promising team has hugely sandbagged in 2019, thus far.
On that note, Cyril Abiteboul had the following observations to make:
“Our contract with McLaren runs until 2020.
“They are a good partner, even when they manage to beat us at the moment. But for us, first of all, the question is about what Formula 1 will do after 2020.
“After that, we’ll see.“