The ambitions of Ford in the 1960s, when the American company built the Ford GT40 to take on and eventually beat the then dominant Ferrari team at Le Mans, was recently turned into a successful Hollywood film featuring Matt Damon and Christian Bale.
De Meo took over the running of the French car manufacturer in July, and has wasted little time in unleashing his vision – which includes a renaming of the Renault F1 team as Alpine in a bid to build up the small French sportscar brand.
With a clear enthusiasm for F1 which has ended any doubt about Renault’s commitment to grand prix racing, team principal Abiteboul says that the outfit has received a huge boost from the new spirit coming from its CEO.
“It’s huge. It’s huge,” said Abiteboul in an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com.
“And frankly, even if he is not going to interfere on a day-to-day basis, it’s a game changer for me to know that I have someone in the back expecting that the team delivers, which is absolutely fundamental, but who is also here to help at any point in time.
“He has got a good knowledge of sport, and a good knowledge of the people. Also his knowledge of the sport means he values and he appreciate the difficulty and the competitiveness of this sport.
“For me, if I draw a little bit of a comparison, it’s like…