F1 »

Barcelona F1 Pre-season Test [1]: Imagining place in pecking order not target for Renault

New racing director Frederic Vasseur insists that reliability will remain the focus of the Renault F1 team through the remainder of pre-season testing.
The Renault team insists that getting on top of reliability issues remains its goal for the F1 pre-season, rather than trying to work out where it might fall into the sport's power rankings.

Taking over from the cash-strapped Lotus team, and with an engine that left a lot to be desired in 2015, the regie already has a lot on its place as it attempts to close the gap on rivals Mercedes and Ferrari, and recently-appointed racing director Frederic Vasseur is not about to try and judge where it fits into a crowded midfield.

"To be honest, we have had so many things to do so far that we didn't spend the time to try and imagine where we could be on the first quali and the second quali and so on...," the erstwhile ASM and ART team boss commented, "But we knew that it would be very, very tough. We have to take it step-by-step: we are in Barcelona, we are improving, we made a good step between the first [day] and second and the second and third, so we want to continue like this and try to improve.

"It doesn't matter whether we start from eleven, ten, nine, seven, the target is the same. We know where we have to go - it doesn't matter where we started, we have to [get to] the target at the end. I think everybody is playing a game as it is difficult to know the level of fuel or the strategy on the engine and so on. At the end of the day, you can imagine where we are but, to be honest, that is not the target"

Despite the frustration of teething troubles with the RS16 - the team has naturally had to exchange Lotus' previous supply of Mercedes engines for its own V6s, but Vasseur insists that small steps were visible throughout the first pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya.

"The first two days were a bit difficult but, as we only started the engine on Monday morning at five o'clock, it was not a big surprise that we had to face some small issues" the Frenchman admitted, "However, today was a great improvement. We were able to do 63 laps this morning and it was the first time that we were able to collect huge data. It's a big step, but we have to stay focused on the reliability."

Despite the uncertainty over the team's future through the second half of 2015, caused in part by Renault's apparent prevarication over buying the ailing Lotus operation, Vasseur says he is impressed by a workforce still champing at the bit for success.

"I don't know how many people [remain from Fernando Alonso's championship years] and who was involved at that stage, but when we took over the company and when we joined Enstone, the day after we had a lot of people in the workshop with [1990s blue Renault shirts]," he noted with a smile, "Emotionally, it was important for us to see that everybody in the factory was attached to Renault and the project."



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Frederic Vasseur (FRA), Renault Sport F1 Team, Racing Director  24.02.2016.
Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16. 25.02.2016.
29.09.2016 - Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Jean Alesi (FRA)
29.09.2016 - Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
29.09.2016 - Press conference, (L-R) Esteban Ocon (FRA) Manor Racing MRT05, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
29.09.2016 - Press conference, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
29.09.2016 - Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
29.09.2016 - Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
29.09.2016 - Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
29.09.2016 - Press conference, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
29.09.2016 - Press conference, (L-R) Esteban Ocon (FRA) Manor Racing MRT05, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
29.09.2016 - Press conference, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
29.09.2016 - Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
29.09.2016 - Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
29.09.2016 - Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
29.09.2016 - Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
29.09.2016 - Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
29.09.2016 - Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.