Abiteboul predicts 'surprises' with 2017 rules

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Renault Sport Racing managing director Cyril Abiteboul believes the 2017 regulation changes will generate “surprises” right from the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Next year will feature wider and more agressive-looking cars, which are expected to lap up to five seconds faster than at present.

After three years of total dominance from Mercedes in the latest turbo era, Formula One bosses hope the 2017 rules revolution will shake up the pecking order. Abiteboul is confident the cards will be reshuffled indeed.

“We are really looking forward to competing in F1 in 2017 because the rulebook will create surprises,” the Frenchman said at the Renault Sport Series Awards Ceremony held in Paris.

“Nobody knows what will happen, so I think we need to reset and adjust our judgment and vision of the sport, and wait for the first grand prix to spring a few surprises.”

Abiteboul added that Renault, which returned as fully fledged works team in 2016, is all the keener to see 2017 get under way that its latest campaign “was not great to be honest”. The French manufacturer finished ninth in the Constructors' championship with a mere nine points.

Renault team principal Frédéric Vasseur said earlier this year he was not sure the new regulations “will be such a big advantage for us because I think they will favour well-oiled structures with reactive staff, while we are still in the process of re-building the team”.

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