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Alain Prost: & # 34; Full support for Renault F1 project & # 34;

Interview with Alain Prost
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Does Formula 1 need hybrid technology?

P rost: Let's go back a few years. All the major car manufacturers had more or less the same engine. The car companies then said: We'll stop if we can't show our expertise with something that is relevant to the automotive market. They want to prove that they are better than the competition. Many complain about the dominance of Mercedes. But let's be honest: you did the best job. You deserve to win. In Formula 1 you sometimes have to accept that someone else is better.

So no way back to the V8 era?

Cheers: I know that many fans want the V8 era back. But that would be the wrong signal. Formula 1 has to show new technology. Perhaps a compromise is possible between what the fans want and what the manufacturers want and need. We need new rules. But not just in one area. It has to be an overall concept for the car, engine and sports laws. If we just change the engine it would be dangerous. For a week we argue about engines, one about tires, one about cars. That will not do. We have to work on the entire package.

Renault is coming to Formula 1 as a works team for the third time. What's different than before?

Cheers: For the first time there is full backing from the board. He is behind the project. First and foremost, our President Carlos Ghosn. During the presentation you noticed how strongly he identified with the project. That was not the case in the past. Even when Renault became world champion, it almost got lost in communication. I've been working hard for this over the past 2 months. It would have made no sense to embark on such an adventure if not everyone goes along with it. This time there is also an overall plan behind it. All Renault country divisions are behind it, the marketing is fully coordinated with it, there is a logical sports program with a link to series production.

Will that be the case if Renault doesn't Will be world champion?

Cheers: It is not mandatory for Renaultnecessary to become world champion. But at some point we have to be able to compete at the top for the world championship. So that people around the world have the feeling: Renault is a top team. For Mercedes or Audi it is much more important to win. You only have this one claim. For us the world championship title is an encore.

How big is the technical challenge?

Cheers: It's bigger than in the past. But that's wanted. Renault wants to make progress in hybrid technology. That is why there is also a collaboration with Infiniti in this area. Catching up has also become more difficult because of the rules. If you've had a problem in the past, you changed everything in a week and went to the test track the week after next. Now there are too many restrictions.

How important is it that Renault has patience?

Cheers: We have a nine year plan. Everyone in the company knows that. It is impossible for us to be among the front runners this year. Everyone knows the history of the team last year. A lot of work has to be done to get it back on its feet. We don't want to lie to people. Especially the beginning of the season will be tough. We are facing a development process that will take two or three years. We have to be patient. And we will do it. The question is whether the media and the public will have so much patience with us. That's why right communication is extremely important, especially at the beginning.


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