Cyril Abiteboul on Nissan

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Last quote by Cyril Abiteboul on Nissan

We always made it clear we would not want to be aggressive in relation to [gardening leave]. From a contract perspective he could be available as soon as early next year but we've had constructive discussions with the FIA and I think we are close to reaching an agreement on a start date that would make everyone be comfortable -- early April, which is basically twice his gardening provision which has been discussed. It's not completely confirmed yet but that's something we are completely prepared to entertain as far as we are concerned.feedback
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Oct 06 2017
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All quotes by Cyril Abiteboul on Nissan

Deciding on Robert is deciding on part of our line-up for next year. It's well-reported that Nico has a multi-year contract, and Jo has a one-year contract, so obviously we have one driver to decide for next year. We also have the restriction that I was referring to on Robert, so we also need to be consistent on the timing for deciding on a second driver.feedback

Obviously we have access to some information that the public and the media do not have access to. I feel that it's private information for the team and for Robert, and I would not want to speak without his control.feedback

That was a test. Frankly, we said we wanted to be extremely methodological and analytic about the way that we were approaching things with Robert. It's not a PR exercise. It's something we're taking very seriously and we're trying to leave emotion on the side. There are various things to do to come back into a racing car at this level, a car that is very different to the car he has been driving six or seven years ago, as well as the car that he drove in the test that we've done at Le Castellet, which was a car from 2012 - much lighter, less downforce, a different steering system.feedback

We don't have all the answers that we potentially wanted to get from that test. In addition to that, Formula One is very restrictive in terms of the tests we can do. So in a perfect world, we want to do more of these type of tests to see if he can race again. It may or may not be possible. We will see.feedback

The market is starting to sort of go with the different announcements of this week with Ferrari and McLaren, and I expect there will be some more announcements at some point. We cannot just be sitting on a rock and making our plans and not helping ourselves. It has to follow the plans of all the drivers.feedback

We're not going into too much details. We'll see what it could involve to go one step further. The question with Robert as I said is that we have a restriction on our ability to test. Any addition to that testing in the regulations, private testing, one car, in controlled environment without rain, without first-lap action that you can always encoutner, all of that needs to be factored into the decision of pursuing or not pursuing.feedback

We've seen very good things with Jo, both during the winter tests, during the season, during a session. He's capable of extracting really good pace from the car, doing a very good job, providing accurate feedback, being very committed into the team. At the same time there's been a mix of mistakes, missed opportunities -- clearly not assisted by circumstance with reliability that has been clearly weaker on his side of the garage.feedback

Frankly, if he manages to turn around the situation, which he did last year, we are completely open to a future between the team and Jo for one more season. Stability would be good for the team. That's also what we wanted last year -- to have Nico changing we wanted not to have to change two drivers. Things could go his [Palmer's] way, but at the end of the day that's in his hands. He knows that right now he's on a one-year contract and completely understands the team has to assess its options for the future.feedback

He is still quick, he is still very consistent and more importantly he has this energy and this drive, this enthusiasm that he has always had.feedback

We head to Hungary with a positive mood brought about by the recent performance gains we have seen to the RS17. We have shown at Silverstone that we are continuing to improve. Chassis developments, in particular the new floor, proved to be positive exemplified from Nico's eight points and both cars showing strong qualifying pace.feedback

Our targets remain unchanged; we want to be sixth by the end of play on 30th July and fifth by the end of the season. A double-points finish is well within our reach.feedback

The first two days of testing allowed both Robert and ourselves to gather a great amount of information. The upcoming session with the R.S.17 at the Hungaroring will allow us all to obtain detailed and precise data in a current car and representative conditions. After this test, we will carefully analyse the collected information to determine in what conditions it would be possible for Robert to return to competition in the upcoming years.feedback

After this test, we will carefully analyze the collected information to determine in what conditions it would be possible for Robert to return to competition in the upcoming years.feedback

We have shown at Silverstone that we are continuing to improve. Chassis developments, in particular the new floor, proved to be positive exemplified from Nico's eight points and both cars showing strong qualifying pace. It's critical to back up this improvement with both cars finishing in the top ten in Hungary – we want to finish the first half of the season on a positive note.feedback

We have to say sorry to Jo as he finally had the starting position he needed and we all wanted him to get those first points today. He almost certainly would have made it if we hadn't had the problem.feedback

I don't want to say that and I don't want to say yes or no. It's not like a test you are passing at an exam. We've not seen any obvious roadblocks. Having said that, testing in this circumstance and testing into a more modern car is something completely different.feedback

I can still tell you he's very quick, he's still very consistent and more important he still has this energy and drive and enthusiasm he always had and carried to him and to the team. Really too early to talk about next steps, I don't want to add to speculation, right now the focus is on getting the most out of the overall line-up and package we have and then we will be thinking about 2018 in due course, which is not just now.feedback

This situation is complex, we're not doing it from PR purposes -- even though we see it is creating a lot of media expectations. And for us it is not what we are doing, we care so much more for Robert than this.feedback

That was second test after a first test, the first test was nothing more than an opportunity for him to get back behind the wheel of a Formula One car. But there is a big reality that it is a Formula One car from 2012 with demo tyres, with V8 engine, normally-aspirated, but it doesn't really match the current F1 car. So whatever we do is not quite representative. In that second test, however, we worked towards what could look like a plan to give both him and us the opportunity to asses his limitations and abilities.feedback

He has so far only driven an old car, with a detuned engine, with demonstration tyres. He has not been submitted to the stresses of a race nor run with other cars.feedback

Whilst the first day of testing at Valencia was no more than to let Robert get reacquainted with the feel of driving again, this second test will be to assess his capabilities to return to the highest level of competition. This is a new phase in his personal and professional journey and we are proud to support him in the form of lending our infrastructure at Paul Ricard that is suitable for professional and non-professional drivers.feedback

No one is safe in F1. F1 is not an environment where anyone can say loudly, I'm safe. To a certain degree there are two questions. There is Jo, and there is a second driver. Right now my focus is on Jo. Jo has to deliver. Right now I feel that it's a bit almost unfair to Nico, who has to do a lot. The team is clearly very dependent on him. When Nico is out of the game, including for reasons beyond his control like [Monaco] when he had his gearbox failure, we struggle to finish in the points, despite a number of cars that were also not finishing the race.feedback

It was Red Bull who said that there would be an upgrade [in Baku]. There are upgrades permanently -- every single race we are making some small improvements. Last year we created a huge expectation and we came with an upgrade that had a big impact. But we can't repeat that every year.feedback

Now it is all about constant improvements which overall will make a difference -- but there is no magic bullet. Every race the engine will become more and more reliable with the program on the dyno progressing. Frankly the next big upgrade will be next year. Then we will have a completely new concept. That will make a difference -- but as I said 2018.feedback

As a constructor, Renault has won twice in Monaco, with Jarno Trulli in 2004 and in 2006 with Fernando Alonso. As an engine supplier, we have tasted the top step a further four times. Our expectation is not to add to this statistic in 2017, but we are making progress and we are ambitious for this new challenge.feedback

When it comes to contingency plans...we don't really have a plan as we are building new buildings in Enstone in the UK, we don't really have a plan to move that we are currently building somewhere else. We are still assuming that people will be reasonable and we trust the UK to protect their industry and motorsport is an important industry for the UK.feedback

For Jolyon, it's been a tough start to the season; if there's been an issue affecting the car, you can almost guarantee it happens his side of the garage. This is something we are responding to by ensuring each and every reliability issue that impacts upon performance is addressed and so much work occurs in this regard away from the track at Enstone and Viry. We know that Jolyon has deep reserves and can bounce back well. We saw last year how he came on strong in the second half of the season so we're working hard to give him the car in which he can deliver.feedback

We know Oliver very well and we are very pleased to reward his work with this position with Renault Sport Formula One Team. Development Driver is an important position in a team and it is very interesting to have someone who already knows us well.feedback

There is what I like and what we need! I don't think Formula One can afford to turn its back to some things that are relevant to the manufacturer in the current business model of Formula One. We could see Formula One completely change its business model and go for something that is radically different and not road relevant but that would be a brave manoeuvre.feedback

We went from something that is a bit too old fashioned to something that is maybe too modern, too complex, too sophisticated, too expensive. We need to be a bit careful about solutions that seem to be easy, like freezing the current engine, because if we do we could freeze something that is extremely expensive and costs will not go down. Development costs for manufacturers may go down but supply costs for the teams will not go down because the bill of material of the engine is extremely expensive if it is [this level of] sophistication.feedback

I think one thing that we cannot be stubborn, we cannot be deaf to what we have been constantly hearing since we introduced that new engine regulation. Fundamentally there were some very good things introduced with that new engine formula. With the previous V8 we believed that clearly Formula One had lost contact that automotive [industry] was taking, so something had to be done. Maybe we went a step too far.feedback

As far as I'm concerned I started with the sound of the V10 and that's something I will never forget -- but that's just me. The new generations that we need to acquire -- because it's not just about the current fan of Formula One, we have to think about the fans we do not have -- those fans have never heard the sound of a V10, and maybe a V10 or V8 is not so relevant. So it's a complex debate and an interesting debate and I hope it's going to be done in a constructive and documented manner.feedback

Clearly, this latest generation Formula 1 has intensified the need to deliver at maximum potential in every regard. We need to ensure that the car is in the right place at the right time, whether that our strategists finding the best clear air on track, our mechanics and every component on the car is faultless, our pit stops occurring as quickly as possible and our power unit is being harnessed in the most efficient manner possible. We must always deliver at the top of our game.feedback

The performance of the power unit seems to be delivering at the level we expected and we know there is more to come. In due course we will revert to the 2017-specification MGU-K and we will also introduce upgrades but this will only happen if we achieve the reliability level we need.feedback

The big positive we take from Melbourne is that we have the pace to be where we want to be: fight for points. If we do everything right, we will fight for fifth place in the championship by the end of the season.feedback

Race one in Australia showed that we have the pace but not necessarily the complete execution with the R.S.17. We definitely had potential to finish in the points at Albert Park, so that is what we should have achieved.feedback

At short term, the main point is reliability. We didn't have any ERS [issues] but we did experience other issues - most notably Jolyon's brakes in the race - so we clearly have work to do.feedback

The R.S.17 looks beautiful and we think it is a good platform to build the performance that will allow to achieve our aims for 2017. We know the areas we need to address. We think we already have a good step forward with performance thanks to this car and the new power unit as shown by our lap times despite adverse circumstances that prevented optimising the package. We have to focus on reliability with special attention on the ERS, which is already well underway.feedback

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Quotes by Cyril Abiteboul on Nissan

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