The famous French car manufacturer, Renault, has unveiled plans to bring back their classic young driver program in an attempt to revitalize the company’s Formula 1 participation and give young drivers the encouragement and support they need to succeed in junior categories. The future is looking bright for Renault, with the company allegedly planning to purchase the Lotus F1 team and provide further investments in this field in order to enjoy greater success in the global sport. As part of the company’s new F1 plans, the young driver program will be resurrected and should hopefully pave the way for Renault’s participation in relaunched F2 tournaments in the future.
Managing Director at Renault, Cyril Abiteboul, believes that payment structures are wildly different in F1, citing the huge contrasts in wage bills of teams like Mercedes compared to teams like Red Bull. Abiteboul believes Renault can take inspiration from teams like Red Bull in order to more efficiently manage their finances. The company clearly wants to continue investing in its F1 efforts but needs to create more cost-effective strategies in order to avoid losing money, this is why the manufacturer is hoping to help with the development of more successful young drivers who can bring success to the Renault name in the future.
Abiteboul revealed that Renault is hoping to enjoy increased recognition for the company’s role in helping young drivers on the road to their own personal victories. Abiteboul spoke of Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton, two of the most famous and successful F1 drivers. He believes that the name of Renault is closely associated with Alonso’s identity since the French company played a large role in the Spaniard’s journey to success. Meanwhile, few people would like Hamilton to Renault despite the Englishman beginning his career in the British Formula Renault Winter Series.
In addition to relaunching the young driver program, Renault is also boosting its involvement with junior categories. The company will apparently cease to support Formula Renault 3.5 in order to develop a new partnership with the FIA. This unification, combined with the plans to recreate the F2 events, could be the start of great things to come for young drivers. Abiteboul claimed that Renault simply isn’t getting a sufficient financial return for its investment in Formula Renault 3.5, hence this change of heart.
The managing director lauded the merits of the 3.5 format, saying that the events were especially popular and successful, but that such huge audiences could lead to excessive costs for the organizers. Despite abandoning 3.5, Renault will continue to invest and support the Formula Renault 2.0, along with the Renault Sport Trophy, and will hope that their new financial management should result in a much brighter future for the company. Young drivers will evidently be buoyed by this decision and will have a greater chance to display their talents and pave their way to success via this program and the introduction of a new and improved F2.