We could see a familiar place back in the paddock in the near future as Cyril Abiteboul has been seen in the area of Hinwil in Switzerland, close to the home of Alfa Romeo boss Frederic Vasseur and the teams headquarters, suggesting that he may return to F1 in some capacity.
Abiteboul announced a shock exit from the Renault team last year, amidst the team re-branding as the Alpine F1 team for the 2021 season.
According to Dieter Rencken at RaceFans, he could be back in F1 before we know it.
Why did he leave Renault?
It was a bit of a shocking revelation. The man that had steered Renault into a strong 2020 season, scoring 2 podiums, a haul of 181 points and a 5th place finish in the standings. His exit was shrouded in mystery, but many believe that the re-brand to Alpine F1 had a lot to do with the decision. The new management team are looking for a new direction, and it could simply be “out with the old, in with the new” despite the Frenchman’s track record at the team. There is speculation that Renault CEO Luca de Mao could have ousted him as part of ridding the team of personnel who worked under Carlos Ghosn who was Mao’s predecessor and was responsible for a host of malpractice errors at Renault.
Could he go to Alfa Romeo?
Abiteboul has a lot of history with Alfa Romeo team boss Vasseur. They previously worked together in 2016 when Renault made a return to Formula One. Vasseur then left to take over the Sauber team, which is now known as Alfa Romeo. There is also speculation that Stellantis, the fourth largest automaker in the world, is working on a project with Alfa Romeo. The boss of Stellantis is Carlos Tavares, a former number two at Renault. It is only natural that he would want an old friend in Abiteboul to be a part of the project which could mean Alfa Romeo becoming a stronger team in the future.
If the project comes to fruition, we could see Cyril back in the F1 circus.
Image Credit: formulaone.com
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