Cyril Abiteboul is glad that his team has achieved success at the Nurburgring, especially since Luca de Meo, the new head of the French concern, came to the circuit on Sunday..
Question: Congratulations! But it turns out that now you have to get a tattoo?
Cyril Abitebul: I guess so. But this is still not the main story of today!
Q: You are right, the main event is still Renault’s first podium after the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix! It is probably nice to achieve this in front of your superiors, because Luca de Meo, the head of the Renault concern, came here today?
Cyril Abitebul: Yes, the timing was right. But this only confirms the progress of the team, which was clearly visible in the last races, we already understand the features of the car better, we learned to tune it better, although we were a little worried before the race on this track, because a higher level of downforce is needed at the Nurburgring. But it turned out that the machine worked fine here too.
In general, everything speaks of progress, although, of course, circumstances helped us a little: Valtteri Bottas left the race. In a normal situation, our car does not yet allow us to qualify for the podiums. But when such an opportunity arose, we did not miss it.
Question: Today the president of the Renault concern Luca de Meo is here, which obviously also added pressure, but you finished third – can you share what emotions did you experience when Sergio Perez was closely following Daniel on the last laps of the race?
Cyril Abitebul: The race seemed to me very long, especially from the moment when Esteban Ocon left the race. When one of your cars rolls off for technical reasons, you can imagine how the team leader feels. And also it is necessary to find out what happened to Lando Norris’ McLaren – it is possible that his retirement may be associated with a similar reason.
It’s bad when this happens, no matter what color the car is. It is clear that this only increases the pressure, especially in a situation where there is an opportunity to show good results. But we must also admit that unusually cold weather is extreme conditions for Formula 1 cars, and we have to carefully analyze all the information collected. In general, as I said, the voltage was very high.
Question Agree, Daniel is piloting just great now, he is at his peak …
Cyril Abitebul: Yes, it looks like he was able to find an approach to the car, but by the way, the excellent work of his racing engineer and the whole team should also be noted. Daniel’s confidence has grown, but precisely because the car has gotten better. The RS20’s behavior has become much more predictable.
Question Probably, this is good, especially considering that next year Daniel will be replaced by Fernando Alonso?
Cyril Abitebul: I agree, because initially Fernando probably did not expect anything special from Renault in 2021, but this season we have made good progress, and this process continues, although his main expectations are related to 2022.
Q: If we talk about 2022: today Helmut Marko and Christian Horner met with Luca di Meo, the head of the Renault concern. Can you say this meeting was positive or vice versa? At least share your feelings?
Cyril Abitebul: I would say that the meeting was neutral. It was important for them to just get to know each other, because Luca di Meo took over as head of the concern quite recently. Now he is holding meetings with many in the paddock.