Renault F1 team principal Cyril Abiteboul is leaving his job as the team rebrands as Alpine for this season.
Abiteboul has headed the Renault outfit since it rejoined the grid five years ago. It was thought that he would continue under the new Alpine name but he has left the company completely.
The Frenchman was credited as a major factor in luring Daniel Ricciardo to Renault for the past two seasons, then signing dual world champion Fernando Alonso as the Aussie’s replacement after he defected to McLaren.
Renault finished fifth in the constructors’ standings for the past two seasons, albeit with stronger results last year.
“I would like to thank the Groupe Renault for having trusted me for many years, particularly with the relaunch and reconstruction of the team since 2016,” Abiteboul said in a statement.
“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, and more recently the Alpine project which provides a renewed sense of meaning and dynamism, all point to a very fine trajectory.
“I would like to thank Luca de Meo for involving me in the construction of the Alpine Business Unit and I wish the new structure every success.”
The team’s executive director, Marcin Budkowski, has been tipped as Alpine F1’s new principal. Meanwhile, Laurent Rossi has been named as Alpine CEO.
“I would like to warmly thank Cyril for his tireless involvement, which notably led the Renault F1 Team from the penultimate place in 2016 to the podiums last season,” said De Meo, Groupe Renault CEO.
“His remarkable work in F1 since 2007 allows us to look to the future, with a strong team and the new Alpine F1 Team identity to conquer the podiums this year.”