Renault announce shock departure of F1 team boss Abiteboul ahead of Alpine rebrand
Renault have announced F1 Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul is leaving the company, ahead of the team’s relaunch as Alpine for this year.
A long time Renault employee, Abiteboul has been in sole charge of the F1 team since 2017, but is now leaving the company altogether, following a shake-up by new CEO Luca de Meo, who joined from SEAT last year.
Laurent Rossi, the Director of Strategy and Business Development of Groupe Renault, is taking over the new CEO of Alpine, which will also see him assume control of the F1 team, and report to De Meo.
“I would like to thank the Groupe Renault for having trusted me for many years, particularly with the relaunch and reconstruction of the team since 2016,” said Abiteboul.
“The solid foundations of the racing team and the entities in France and England built over these years, the strategic evolution of the sport towards a more economically sustainable model, and more recently the Alpine project which provides a renewed sense of meaning and dynamism, all point to a very fine trajectory.
“I would like to thank Luca de Meo for involving me in the construction of the Alpine Business Unit and I wish the new structure every success.”
De Meo added: “I would like to warmly thank Cyril for his tireless involvement, which notably led the Renault F1 Team from the penultimate place in 2016 to the podiums last season.
“His remarkable work in F1 since 2007 allows us to look to the future, with a strong team and the new Alpine F1 Team identity to conquer the podiums this year.”
Renault have not been able to reproduce the title-winning success they enjoyed in the mid-2000s since rejoining F1 as a full constructor in 2016, though they did finally make it back on to the podium in 2020 with three top three finishes between Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon.
Fernando Alonso is rejoining the Enstone-based outfit for this season, replacing Ricciardo, who moves to McLaren, as Renault swap their name and yellow colours for Alpine and blue, red and white of the French flag.