Renault to review F1 project as part of major company assessment

Renault F1 Team in action

Renault’s Interim Chief Executive Officer has confirmed that its future in Formula 1 will be assessed amid a “deep review” of the manufacturer's entire organisation.

Renault recently sounded a profit warning amid a year-on-year dip in revenues and sales, and on Friday published the company’s results for Q3 in 2019.

Its global sales were down 4.4 per cent, with revenue down 1.6 per cent, when compared to the same period in 2018.

Renault has also recently undergone another restructuring within the company, with Clotilde Delbos appointed as interim CEO in the wake of the exit of Thierry Bollore.

Bollore was only appointed to the position last year following the ousting of Carlos Ghosn, amid ongoing charges of corruption in Japan, which he strenuously denies, and which has placed the Renault-Nissan alliance under strain.

Delbos confirmed last week that the Ghosn-led ‘Drive the Future’ strategy, outlining Renault’s six-year ambitions in 2017, was under review, due to the change in dynamic within the automotive industry.

On Friday, in a conference call to discuss Renault’s Q3 earnings, she confirmed that analysing its Formula 1 project was part of the entire review process that is about to commence.

“I’m not specifically targeting those two activities,” she said in response to a question on Renault’s use of the Alpine brand, and its future in Formula 1.

“But clearly the review of the ‘Drive the Future’ plan means we put [it] on the table.

“It’s like a normal process, it’s not a minor review, we’re launching a deep review of the ‘Drive the Future’ plan in order to take into account the new context of the market, the change in usage, mobility etc, and the current situation of the group.

“Everything can be on the table at some point. This is a deep review of our strategy and plan.”

Ghosn was a key architect behind Renault’s full-scale return as a works team in 2016, when it acquired the ailing Lotus operation.

Renault improved from ninth, to sixth, and then to fourth in 2018, but this year its progress has stagnated and it holds only fifth in the standings.