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Interview with Carlos Sainz and Cyril Abiteboul

In Montmeló, we had the chance to talk with Formula 1 Team Renault's driver and Managing Director

Interview with Carlos Sainz and Cyril Abiteboul In Montmeló, we had the chance to talk with Formula 1 Team Renault's driver and Managing Director

A few days ago, we presented to you the photographic reportage realized during the Formula 1 Winter Test. Thanks to le coq sportif and the F1 Team Renault’s hospitality, we’ve been able to wander around the paddock of the Montmeló circuit for a day, unveiling some secrets behind the mysterious circus of the most important class of motorsport. But that’s not all because we’ve also been able to have a chat with two important members of Team Renault, Carlos Sainz, that will drive the RS18 alongside with Niko Hulkenberg, and Cyril Abiteboul, Team Renault Managing Director.

As often happens in Formula 1, Carlos was very busy, as he had to jump in the car for the afternoon test session. Yet, we managed to get some answers from him about the 2018 season, the first that he will entirely race with Renault, after arriving from Toro Rosso for the last races of the 2017 season.

“This year, I don’t wont to have any goal”, he told us before jumping in the RS18, “I only want to have the perfect season, that means without any problem and ending all the races. The podium isn’t a realistic objective for us, as last season they all belonged to Ferrari, Mercedes or Red Bull. This means that it hasn’t to be my goal, but we must improve race after race, then seeing where we can arrive”.

Carlos Sainz also mentioned his future at the end of the season, as many see him as the future driver for Red Bull, that could lose Daniel Ricciardo at the end of 2018. “The next season is really too far from now to establish what I will do. I can only say that I found a great team with Renault, with great people, a good car, and lot-lot of passion. I’m enjoying my time here, then we’ll see what happen and decide together what to do”.

 

After Sainz’s hurried rush, we had the chance to make a quieter and longer chat with Cyril Abiteboul, Team Renault Managing Director, that has a car with great perspectives and a relative pressure, with all the chances to improve the results made last year.

#1 After this snowy and rainy test session in Barcelona, what are your goals for the first GP in Melbourne?

It’s hard to say because we’re still starting to gather the data, but we must reach the point where we are confident about the car. Our philosophy is to be conservative in terms of aerodynamics and performance at the beginning of the season, focusing on the reliability of the car and the components. As a team, we’re still trying to sort this new generation of cars out, we have to see where the season will take us.

 

#2 Renault’s goal has to be immediately behind the top teams?

Yes, I think that should be our objective for the season, in order to become a top team ourselves in time. But first, we have to close the gap with the top ones.

#3 Do you think that the arrival of the new Liberty Media ownership has increased the possibilities of smaller teams to increase the reputation and find new fans?

Surely the new management made clear the concept that F1 can’t be a sport independent of its supporters. Generally, we agree with the line introduced by Liberty Media, that gives the supporters the chance to live this sports closer. Then, is too soon for further judgments, but it’s good that the smaller teams have the chance to be seen by the public.

 

#4 Marchionne (Ferrari CEO) said the Liberty Media management know nothing about engineering. What do you think about the future of the F1 single-seaters?

I believe that the priority has to be to have a healthy sport in terms of visibility. The truth is that we must attract the new generations of fans, making them understand the F1 is more than the sport is used to be, it’s also entertainment. A sport without fans has no future.

#5 Do you think that the new partnership with le coq sportif can help you reach new fans with sportswear and lifestyle element?

Yes, I’m very proud of our deal with le coq sportif, because it’s not only about being stylish - that we are - but it will also make us the only team with a sports apparel brand associated to us. It’s not only about being well equipped but also connected to a proper sports brand, that makes F1 a sports matter, not only technology and glamour.

 

#6 Who’s your favorite for this season title?

I think we all know who is. the favorite for the win. But if we really want to increase our viewers as I said before, we must let F1 return to be a competitive championship, without knowing the winner even before the first race. So, if you ask me this question in one or two years, I hope my answer will be “I have absolutely no idea”.