Renault's new chief operating officer Carlos Tavares has emphasized the company's long-term commitment to Formula 1, having attended the British Grand Prix less than a week after his appointment.
Although Renault has now sold its factory team – which still bears the French manufacturer's name – to the Genii organization, it continues to supply engines to that squad, Team Lotus and Red Bull Racing, and will add Williams to its lineup next year.
"I only waited six days from when I started this job before coming to a race as I believe there is a great passion for cars and motorsport within the Renault Group," said Tavares in an interview published on the Renault Sport website. "It is also my way of showing that we need to harness this passion within the group so that every Renault partner and employee can benefit from our involvement, which will, in turn, be for the benefit of our clients."
He said F1 remained extremely important to his company's development and technology transfer, even though it no longer had a factory team presence.
"It's crucial and we are very careful to nurture the talent we have at Viry-Chatillon," said Tavares. "This shows in the work we do, and I know we have a lot of engineers who strive to improve their knowledge and understanding in the field. We have also taken care to establish a dialogue and interaction between the F1 operation and the rest of the company so that the expertise and the technologies are transferred to the road cars."
Renault has been a key advocate of the move to "greener" engines in the next generation regulations, and Tavares underlined that he was pleased with the compromise solution that will now see the sport switch to turbocharged V6s in 2014.
"This was one of the conditions explained to our teams for us to be in F1, and it still applies," he said. "Renault has always had an ability to innovate. We want our innovation to be useful to our clients and to the general health of the planet. Therefore this 'downsizing' we've put all our support behind is perfectly aligned. There needs to be a convergence between the technologies seen in F1 and the wishes of our clients and the societies we operate in.
"I'm sure that the decision just taken won't be the final step but we are very happy that we have managed to find a common consensus."