Prost: Quitting F1 'would have been easy' for Renault amid turbulent 2020

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Leaving Formula 1 would have been the "easy" option for Renault amid a turbulent 2020, Alain Prost believes.

Late in 2019, then-interim CEO Clotilde Delbos announced a review into the French manufacturer's activities, creating uncertainty over the future of the F1 team, who had also lost their only engine customer, McLaren, to Mercedes from this year.

Then, of course, Covid-19 hit, making matters even worse financially and resulting in thousands of jobs being cut.

Also Read:

However, as a sign of confidence in the future of F1, new CEO Luca de Meo opted not to cut the Enstone-based team, instead creating a new structure under which it will continue as Alpine from 2021.

“If something changes at the top level, which has happened, then a Formula 1 exit would have been easy,” Prost, who an advisor to the team, told Le Figaro. “Instead, we have a strategy based around the Alpine brand.

“Renault wants to use Formula 1 as a marketing and image tool and now, apart from Ferrari, we are the only manufacturer to have a clearly defined medium and long-term programme. That has not always been the case with Renault in the past.”

Renault also signalled their intention by signing Fernando Alonso, with whom they won their most recent F1 championships in 2005 and 2006, for 2021.

And the outlook at Alpine looks positive after a strong season of gains saw the team fight for third in the Constructors' Championship last year.

“We didn’t expect it to go so well,” Porost admitted. “The most interesting thing is the fact all the little things we adjusted on the car worked well.

"This gives us hope for the future and allows us to make a plan for the next two years. We can look ahead a little more calmly.”