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Cyril Abiteboul

Formula 1 employee

Cyril Abiteboul
Credit: Charles Coates/LAT
Vital statistics for Cyril Abiteboul
NationalityFRA
PositionManaging director
TeamRenault Sport F1 Team

Cyril Abiteboul made a very quick transition from CEO to Team Principal at Caterham, replacing Tony Fernandes in the top job after just a month with the team. He battled hard to keep the squad in the fight at the rear of the field but was replaced during the management reshuffle of 2014. Having previously worked for Renault Sport, he returned to the engine manufacturer in a newly created position. When Renault returned to F1 for 2016, he became Managing Director of the new squad.

Biography

Educated at prestigious schools in France, including the Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Informatique Mathématiques Appliquées, Abiteboul made his move into motorsport by joining Renault straight after graduating in 2001. He was promoted to Business Development Manager in 2007 for the F1 team, but then found his way to the engine supplier side after Renault pulled out of team ownership in the sport.

Abiteboul joined Caterham just before the end of the 2012 season, taking up the CEO position. His role was set to include management of both on and off-track activities, with the team looking for closer guidance in their quest to earn their first Formula One Championship point.

Less than a month later, team boss Tony Fernandes stepped down, handing the team principal position to Abiteboul. At the time, Tony said: “Cyril is going to be an excellent team principal. He has extensive experience in F1, he is extremely well respected and he shares our vision for what we want our team to achieve.”

Unfortunately for Cyril, he joined the team just as momentum was slipping away from them and moving towards backmarker rivals Marussia. In 2013, Caterham dropped down to 11th in the championship for the first time since joining in 2010. After continuing disappointments in 2014, the Caterham team underwent a management reshuffle that saw Abiteboul ousted. The Frenchman returned to Renault Sport as the engine manufacturers also had something of a restructuring, following their own poor performances. In the newly created role of managing director, Abiteboul was expected to turn things around for the power unit suppliers.

At the end of 2015, Renault confirmed they were returning to the sport as a works team, buying a controlling interest in Lotus. This moved Abiteboul back into direct contact with Formula One, but he continued his position as managing director, rather than returning to a team principal role.