Renault F1 racing director Frederic Vasseur insists the team will not “give up” on getting good results in 2016, despite the team’s main goals being in the longer term.
Vasseur had previously said that following the targets laid out by chairman Carlos Ghosn was more important than aiming for specific results early on – and while he stood by that, he also noted that Renault would not write off the campaign.
“My concern today is to be sure that we will keep the system under pressure. Nobody will give up the season,” Vasseur said. “It would be a mistake.
“Okay, it’s not an easy season and we know that we took over the company very late and we’ll see for 2017 – but I think it would be a mistake [to give up], because we want to keep the team in fighting spirit and we need to go for the guy in front [of us].
“We will arrive in Melbourne and then we will build up the roadmap for the season.”
More staff needed
Vasseur also hinted at the fact that Renault’s F1 team, which is currently perceived to be understaffed, will likely need to add personnel.
However, he noted that no additions to the team will be rushed.
“If you want to stick to the roadmap and to fight for podiums, you may have a look at your opposition,” he said. “You’ll know the size of the companies, the resources, the investment.
“We need to have the same target – and I’m fully convinced I’m not more clever than the others, so we need to fight [using] the same system.”
He also said: “I don’t want to be under pressure to [hire]. I think it’s most important that, if we have to fill some position, to do it with the proper guy.”
Impressed with the Enstone crew
Vasseur was full of praise for the Enstone staffers that became part of Renault after the French manufacturer’s takeover of the financially-stricken Lotus squad in the off-season.
“The team is very dedicated, focussed on the job. To be honest, I think the tough times they faced last year built up a very strong relationship.
“This is very important. And the relationship is also there with the drivers.”
“There is a real team spirit within the team.”
Additional reporting by Jonathan Noble