Cyril Abiteboul gone as Renault principal before Alpine rebranding

Cyril Abiteboul gone as Renault principal before Alpine rebranding

Group strategy and business development director Laurent Rossi will take over as chief executive of the Alpine brand with responsibility for the road vehicle side and sporting activities including F1.

Rossi will therefore overlook Renault's F1 team and the whole of the company's motorsport activities, answering directly to Renault chief executive officer Luca de Meo. Rossi therefore assumes control of the Formula 1 team and will report to de Meo.

As a Renault stalwart, having worked his way up the ranks of the F1 team since arriving at the company after university in 2001, Abiteboul oversaw the French manufacturer's return as a constructor to the sport in 2016 and played a key role in helping the team move up the pecking order.

Speculation was rife last week that recently departed Suzuki MotoGP team manager Davide Brivio was linked to the role.

However, he will leave the Renault Groupe altogether after 20-years' service.

"The solid foundations of the racing team and the entities in France and England built over these years, the strategic evolution of the sport towards a more economically sustainable model". The Renault F1 team will be rebranded as Alpine F1 this year, with the firm also backing an LMP1 operation in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

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Rossi will be in charge of the Alpine's auto division, alongside its F1 project and other motorsport activities, and will report to Renault's CEO Luca de Meo.

"I would like to thank the Renault Group for placing their trust in me over these many years, in particular for the relaunch and reconstruction of the team since 2016", explains Cyril Abiteboul.

De Meo thanked Abiteboul for transitioning the team from backmarkers to podium winners in the space of five seasons.

"His remarkable work in F1 since 2007 allows us to look into the future, with a strong team to win the podium this year and the recognition of the new Alpine F1 team".

The Frenchman famously lost a bet with driver Daniel Ricciardo last season, under which he agreed to get a tattoo if the Australian finished on the podium.

Under Abiteboul's leadership, Renault have kicked on to become a consistent midfield outfit since finishing ninth in first year back 2016, and were an impressive fourth in 2018 before placing fifth in the past two seasons.

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