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Renault Boss ‘Worried’ About Honda’s F1 Investment

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Despite planning an all-new Formula One engine for 2019 and making promises to close the gap to Ferrari and Mercedes, Renault is looking over its shoulder at Honda with concern.

One of the big talking points of the late 2018 season has been the rapidly improving performance of the Honda engine, which was such that Red Bull Racing decided to drop Renault and partner up with the Japanese manufacturer for next year.

Much has been said about Honda’s commitment and investment in the sport, and even rival Renault Sport F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul has spoken up about his concerns.

“Frankly I’m worried about everything in life, but in particular about a situation on the engine side. As we’ve seen since last year, Honda is making big steps, big gains,” he said. “Red Bull has been very clear that they are investing massively, and apparently much more than us.”

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Red Bull’s budget is already the third-highest in F1 and the highest of any team that doesn’t manufacturer its own engine. When paired with an exclusive partnership with Honda and its significant financial resources, it could spell trouble for the other teams.

Nonetheless, Abiteboul is looking ahead with confidence. “We are happy for Red Bull and Honda but frankly we have our way to do things,” he said. “We have a plan and we are executing that plan. It’s not just about an arms race.”

Still, if Honda turn up in 2019 with a better package than Renault, Abiteboul may have to explain to his superiors why they didn’t go for the arms race approach.

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