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Renault joins the boycott

May 13th, 2009

RenaultRenault have become the fifth Formula One team to announce that they won’t be competing in the 2010 World Championship unless the two-tier regulations are rewritten.

Toyota was the first team to declare they would not compete under the regulations announced at the WMSC meeting on 29 April.  They were followed by similar announcements from Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Ferrari.

This means half the 2009 grid are now saying they won’t race next year unless the regulations are revised.  I don’t expect Brawn GP, Williams or Force India will join the boycott, and McLaren will probably want to keep a low profile, but I wouldn’t be surprised if BMW were to announce that they will not race under the new rules either.

Like Ferrari, Renault have said it is not the cost cutting they are against, rather it is the fact that there will be two sets of rules.  Also like Ferrari, Renault have taken the opportunity to criticise the governance of the sport and again I have to agree.  Surely Formula One would benefit if as they say “the sport is coordinated with a spirit of consultation with all parties (FIA, FOM, FOTA)?”

The Renault statement in full:

The decision of the Federation International de l’Automobile (FIA) to introduce two sets of Formula One technical regulations for the 2010 Formula One season has caused the Renault Group to reconsider its entry in next year’s FIA Formula One World Championship.There is frustration that FOTA’s constructive proposals, including major cost saving measures to be adopted progressively between 2009 and 2012, which were carefully constructed by FOTA members, have been completely ignored without any form of consultation by the FIA with the teams.

It should be stressed that FOTA has set the same, if not lower, financial objective as the FIA, but Renault strongly believes that this must be introduced through a different procedure agreed by all parties.

Renault also believes that it is paramount that the governance of the sport is coordinated with a spirit of consultation with all parties (FIA, FOM, FOTA) in order to achieve a better balance between the costs and the revenues. Renault is also of the firm view that all entrants in the World Championship must adhere to and operate under the same regulations.

President of the ING Renault F1 Team, Bernard Rey, commented: “Renault has always considered Formula One as the pinnacle of motor sport and the perfect stage to demonstrate technical excellence. We remain committed to the sport, however we cannot be involved in a championship operating with different sets of rules, and if such rules are put into effect, we will be forced to pull out at the end of this season.”

ING Renault F1 Team Managing Director, Flavio Briatore, commented: “Our aim is to reduce costs while maintaining the high standards that make Formula One one of the most prestigious brands on the market. We want to achieve this in a coordinated manner with the regulatory and commercial bodies, and we refuse to accept unilateral governance handed out by the FIA. If the decisions announced by the World Council on the 29th of April 2009 are not revised, we have no choice but to withdraw from the FIA Formula One World Championship at the end of 2009.”

Max Mosley is due to meet with FOTA on Friday.  It should be an interesting meeting.

Image: Renault

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