Abiteboul: Renault steamrolled by 'powerful' Red Bull communication

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Renault's Cyril Abiteboul says the French manufacturer was constantly on the back foot in 2018 because of the power of Red Bull's communication which suited only the team's purpose.

Renault and Red Bull have parted ways after a twelve-year association that yielded four consecutive drivers' and constructors' titles between 2010-13, but which was marked by incessant sparring and bickering in the last few seasons.

Red Bull's heavy public criticism of Renault will be one drawback to the relationship that Abiteboul won't miss.

"One of the reasons why we are sorry but not sorry to stop the relationship with Red Bull is simply because Red Bull was controlling our communication and we had to react," explained Abiteboul, speaking to Motorsport.com.

"It was not on a level of playing field, because Red Bull is so much more powerful than us from a communication standpoint.

"We were constantly on the back foot and, on many occasions, it was a communication that was suiting their purpose. And we are in a world where unfortunately the noise and communication is becoming a reality.

"Let’s be clear: our engine situation is still not where it needs to be but it is not as bad as maybe it looks from afar, and I can tell you it will be much better next year."

Ending the association will take away Renault's ability next season to compare the performance of its works team with the Red Bull benchmark, although Abiteboul minimized the effects of that loss.

"There were some upsides with that relationship with Red Bull," he said. "And frankly if the story was to be written again, I would not change a word.

"I think it was great to have Red Bull in the last three years, which were really the years of startup of our own works team, because that team was capable of showing what the engine was capable of doing, for both the good and the bad.

"We know exactly where we are with chassis and engine," added the Frenchman.

"But I think we are now mature enough in our understanding of our strengths and weaknesses to be able to lose Red Bull and focus, control our communication, control our image, control our spend, control our investment, and our development strategy."

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