It is understood that Renault motorsport chief Cyril Abiteboul has met with Bernie Ecclestone to discuss the manufacturer’s place in Formula 1.
As reported by Autosport, the French company is assessing its options ahead of its current engine supply deals drawing to a conclusion at the end of the 2016 season. While leaving the sport is still an option, it is believed that Abiteboul is also reviewing the possibility of remaining as an engine supplier or creating its own works outfit.
Speaking after the meeting with Ecclestone in Monaco, Abiteboul commented: “It is no secret we have a binding contract until the end of 2016 so firstly it was to reassure everyone that we will honour that contract. There is no doubt. At some point, we have to make up our mind if we go further than that. So that’s the first step, these discussions. We’ll see.”
“We’re looking at the return on our investment, at the value we get. We want more value for what we are doing in the sport. We want to see if there is another option for us to get more return for what we’re doing inside of F1.”
Should Renault leave the grid, F1 teams would be left with just three engine suppliers – Ferrari, Mercedes and Honda. However the latter has yet to announce any plans to expand its powertrain production, and it is likely the Ferrari would block any move for Mercedes to supply more of the grid.
Rumours have circulated recently that Cosworth could return to the F1 fold should there be a need for cheaper alternative engines from 2017, as reported in Motorsport, while gossip about VW/Audi entering F1 have been commonplace for years.