Former Renault Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul is set to join Red Bull in a shocking move despite his public falling out with the team.
Abiteboul was with Renault for a long time. At the time, Renault was supplying power units to Red Bull. Since 2014, the relationship between the two teams started stagnating, with the power units enduring persistent reliability issues.
The situation got so bad that the Milton-Keynes outfit dropped their French counterparts ahead of the 2019 season. They replaced them with Honda in a surprise move, something Renault and Abiteboul took exception to. He publicly criticised Red Bull’s team principal Christian Horner, which is why the current situation is all the more astonishing.
According to reports, Abiteboul is set to join Red Bull in a shocking move despite his feud with Horner and his team.
As revealed by Japanese site Autosport Web, “Abiteboul has agreed in principle to become head of Red Bull Powertrains and manage the non-technical side of the business.”
No hoots given
A recap of the bitterness between the two men is in order. Horner said back when one of their races ended in disaster, “We pay multi millions of pounds for these engines, for a first class or state-of-the-art product and you can see that it’s quite some way below that.”
Abiteboul’s immediate response to that pretty much summed up the latter years of Red Bull-Renault.
“Our bosses have stopped reading what Christian Horner is saying about us since 2015,” he said.
“It’s very clear that we don’t want to have any dealings with them any more. It’s very clear it’s done.
“They will have their engine partner that will be paying a hell of a lot of money to get their product on board, and I wish them good luck. I have nothing else to say.”