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Sport Renault boss slams rival teams over 'stupid' move

01:30  10 december  2019
01:30  10 december  2019 Source:   wwos.nine.com.au

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Daniel Ricciardo, Michael Cuffe are posing for a picture: Daniel Ricciardo (left) and Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul.© AAP Daniel Ricciardo (left) and Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul. Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul has slammed rival teams who have voted down a change to Formula One's "stupid" qualifying rules, in a move that further hurts Daniel Ricciardo's 2020 chances of challenging the top teams.

Under current regulations, teams that qualify in the top 10 must start the race on the same tyres they used in the second part of qualifying. However, Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari usually enjoy such an advantage they can use a more durable compound to reach the top 10, giving them a further edge in the race.

With drivers that qualify 11th and lower also free to use the more suitable race tyre, it leaves those that qualify 7th-10th at a disadvantage. Based on 2019 pace, that's often the McLaren and Renault drivers.

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© AAP Renault F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul Renault Formula One boss Cyril Abiteboul has compared Daniel Ricciardo’s switch from Red Bull as akin to growing up and moving out of the family home, while Although Ricciardo’s Renault debut in Melbourne was effectively over before the first corner

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Renault's frustration with the rule was highlighted by the season finale in Abu Dhabi last week, that saw Daniel Ricciardo qualify 8th and Nico Hulkenberg 10th. Ricciardo finished the race 11th and Hulkenberg 12th, beaten by drivers who started outside the top 10 with a free choice of tyres.

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A change to the rule had been proposed by the F1 strategy group, however any modification made after April 30 requires unanimous approval to be implemented for the following season. In this case, the leading teams succumbed to self-interest and vetoed the move.

"Again we saw a demonstration of that silly regulation of having to start on the soft tyres, which gives such an advantage to the guys behind," Abiteboul told Motorsport.com.

"It was agreed in the Strategy Group, everyone agreed [to change the rule]. Then when it comes to a vote, all the arrangements seemed to come back, and frankly I'm exasperated by that.

"There was a lobby from the top teams and their junior teams to stop a change, because it's a regulation that was engineered by the top teams to protect them. I don't think they need it, but it's an extra protection.

"It's also something that's helping teams that are customers or are affiliated to the top teams, and the ones that are squeezed are what I call the 'middle class', it's us and McLaren in most cases.

"In fairness, sometimes it's been to our advantage, when we were outside the top 10 – Mexico and Suzuka for example. But it's not because it's sometimes to our advantage that we should keep it.

"It's a stupid regulation, it needs to go away. No one is doing anything about it, and frankly I am exasperated to see it happening again."

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