The head of Renault Frederic Vasseur in an interview GPUpdate.net summed up 2016 for the French team and shared his expectations from the season 2017.
Can we say that the 2016 was harder than you expected?
Frederic Vasseur: of Course, we knew that the season would be difficult. So, in fact, happened. He is better or worse than expected? I wouldn’t spend too much time on these thoughts! The situation is as it is.
I think we have made good progress during the season. I mean work on the track, the understanding of the particular tire. We’ve earned some points, but as did not modified the car, the opportunity to win back the position was not. However, in anticipation of 2017, it was important to add in terms of preparation, as the car will still be built from scratch.
How difficult was it to improve the structure of the team?
Frederic Vasseur: We have made large investments and expanded base. The decision on the termination of modification of the machine was made very early, but I guess that’s OK since one or two played out of position would not play a big role. Since our project is expected in the medium run, was much more important to focus on the team structure, employees and organisation, not on the machine of 2016.
If all goes according to plan?
Frederic Vasseur: Yeah, we stick to the plan. In the beginning it took us a very long time to assess the situation at the base in Enstone. Team getting better in all aspects, but much remains to be done. I think it’s important to move forward step by step.
Inviting new employees is a complex process, since the signing of a contract sometimes you have to wait six months or even a year, before the new specialist will join you.
I don’t want to say that we did a good job last season, as our team still was in the second ten. But I think with the restructuring we did good.
In season 2017 Nico Hulkenberg will replace Kevin Magnussen will be the new partner Jolyon Palmer. What can you say about the performance of Kevin for Renault?
Frederic Vasseur: I think we had good cooperation. He brought important points duly did his job and was loyal to the team. He has his own character, I have mine, so it wasn’t always easy! But that’s okay. We were pleased with his work, but had to make a choice. After the decision was made, we sat down and talked. I think we will remain good relationship because we have always been open to dialogue.
Would it be better to spend the season?
Frédéric Vasseur: It would be difficult. The decision was not easy. We decided that we would leave one of the riders to maintain stability in the team. If you look at the results in the first half of the season, Kevin was ahead of Jolyon, but the second – his advantage was reduced. So the decision was difficult.
You not regret the situation with the pilots so? Kevin joked that the offer to join the team even received the Pope…
Frederic Vasseur: I Think it is wrong to regret it. There is always something to add. It is important to think about the future, not the past. I don’t want to discuss his review.
You impressed with Jolyon Palmer coped with the pressure?
Frederic Vasseur: If you look at the career of Jolyon in the Junior series, he was always serious was added in the offseason. I don’t remember exactly his results in GP2, but at first it was the 16th, and then 10-m, 6-m and eventually became the champion. He is able to progress from race to race, from season to season.
What can the team count in the season 2017?
Frédéric Vasseur: It is absolutely impossible to predict. As you recall, when the last radical change of the rules at the top was the team BrawnGP, and Toyota have achieved major progress. The team with the best organization able to cope better with work. It has always been. But you can always expect one of these teams will find a clever solution.
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