Gasly admits Renault could scrap 2026 engine project

Briatore has signed up as Renault CEO de Meo’s ’executive advisor’


21 June 2024 - 09:57
Gasly admits Renault could scrap (…)

Pierre Gasly has hinted that Alpine really is contemplating buying a customer engine from a rival Formula 1 manufacturer.

Renault’s factory F1 outfit remains in deep performance and personnel crisis in 2024, and the situation is not likely to change this weekend in Barcelona.

"We won’t have any upgrades in the near future," team driver Gasly admitted ahead of the Spanish GP.

"I expect the next few grands prix to be quite tough if the conditions are normal."

Any semblance of harmony between Gasly and his French countryman Esteban Ocon has also now collapsed, with Gasly again accusing his teammate of not moving over fast enough last time out in Canada.

"I don’t want to comment on that," Ocon, who has been ousted for 2025, said in Barcelona. "I don’t want to talk about Canada anymore."

And when asked to compare his relationship with Ocon with his relationship with world champion Max Verstappen, Gasly said on Thursday: "I have a good relationship with Max and I have no relationship with Esteban."

As for the wild rumours that Renault could scrap its ongoing 2026 power unit project and simply ’buy’ a customer Mercedes engine, that story has been met with widespread disbelief.

"Luca de Meo, the boss of the Renault group, a historic engine manufacturer, is said to have inquired with Red Bull, Honda and even Mercedes or Ferrari to find out if it would be possible to become a customer team," said L’Equipe correspondent Frederic Ferret.

"Imagine your baker crossing the street to buy his baguettes from the neighbour before coming back to sell them to you in his shop. Do you find that absurd? I do too," he added.

Jean-Michel Desnoues, writing for France’s Auto Hebdo, described the idea as "laughable", with Auto Motor und Sport’s Michael Schmidt saying it’s "crazy".

"Apart from the fact that this shouldn’t be allowed because Renault committed itself to 2030 by approving the new engine regulations, you can only shake your head."

Incredibly, though, there appears to be some truth behind the wild rumour.

When asked what he thinks of the idea, Gasly suggested that Alpine and Renault really are contemplating it because the team wants to "obtain the best results and extract the maximum performance".

"As a team, it is important to consider all the options and then to form your own opinion on what’s best for performance," he added.

"The objective is clear - we want to be competitive, fighting at the front. The team is open about this, I trust the management’s decision and have no concerns about it.

"Yes, we would lose our status as a factory team, but the regulations are drawn up in such a way that there is clear parity between the parties, especially in terms of engines," Gasly said.

Alpine announced on Friday that Flavio Briatore has signed up as Renault CEO de Meo’s ’executive advisor’, with Auto Bild claiming the flamboyant Italian may already be in talks with Mercedes about a 2026 customer engine deal.

Alpine F1 Team - Renault


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