Renault: Shared wind tunnel the "elephant in the room"

Formula 1 teams sharing wind tunnels remains the "elephant in the room" when it comes to stopping outfits being fully independent right now, reckons Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul.

Renault: Shared wind tunnel the "elephant in the room"

As part of the fallout from the controversy over Racing Point copying last year’s Mercedes, the FIA is set to change F1’s rule to prevent teams create clone cars in the future.

There were fears from several teams that allowing others to repeat what Racing Point had done would open the door for a two-tier F1 where teams would be forced to forge alliances.

The FIA has responded to the situation by making it clear it wants to see F1 teams continue to build their own designs, as it thinks that makes a much healthier sport.

While Renault has backed the FIA stance, Abiteboul still thinks that teams will always end up working together if they share wind tunnels – and such partnerships will only ever be broken when F1 shifts fully to computerised designs.

"I think there are elements [of sharing] where we are not going to go back, like the engine, gearbox and other very expensive mechanical elements,”said Abiteboul in an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com.

“But there is one expensive elephant in the room, which is a wind tunnel, and that will stay as long as we keep doing aerodynamic development in wind tunnels.

“But maybe a vision for the future is that we can have ten teams that are fully independent, and those ten teams will only use CFD because there is enough for anyone to access CFD through cloud computing.

“That should be the vision and I think the vision is shared by pretty much everyone. Yes, it's a ramp up in terms of how we get there, which still needs to be worked out, but at least we know that there is no room for a repeat of what happened this year.”

Read Also:

Mercedes shares its wind tunnel with Racing Point, while Red Bull and AlphaTauri are to share their facility from next year.

Abiteboul said he was delighted with the way that the FIA, and in particular its head of single seater matters Nikolas Tombazis, responded to the Racing Point controversy by vowing to close down the rules to stop extensive car copying.

“It's interesting because everything has sort of happened at the same time, with the Concorde Agreement and this precedent [about car copying],” added Abiteboul.

“It's good that the precedent was set this year, at a time where we could still decide or not if we want to be part of the sport: and this situation probably gave the momentum and encouraged the FIA and F1 to come up with answers to our concerns.

“We had confirmation that they share the same vision as ours. And now it's progressively turning into regulations. There is more to come, there will be a TD [technical directive] very shortly, and that is resulting from the very hard work from our team, with the FIA, and with Nikolas.

“We've given him a bit of our time, but frankly, I have to give huge credit to him for the response that he has given in the very limited amount of time that we had.”

shares
comments

Related video

F1 team bosses back calendar rotation idea

Previous article

F1 team bosses back calendar rotation idea

Next article

Whitmarsh appointed to Hamilton Commission board

Whitmarsh appointed to Hamilton Commission board
Load comments
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Prime

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery Prime

Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi...

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus Prime

How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Prime

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021