Frederic Vasseur explains decision to leave Renault F1 team

Frederic Vasseur says differences of opinion among Renault's senior management about its direction in Formula 1 were behind his decision to resign from his team principal role

Frederic Vasseur explains decision to leave Renault F1 team

Renault announced on Wednesday that Vasseur was leaving by 'mutual consent' and that president Jerome Stoll and managing director Cyril Abiteboul would now run the outfit together.

Speaking for the first time about the reasons for his decision, Vasseur said that he had come to the conclusion that Renault's chances in F1 would be hindered if there continued to be differing views at the top.

"There was too much different vision in the management of the team, so at this stage it makes sense for me to leave," Vasseur told Autosport's sister title Motorsport.com.

"If you want to perform in F1, you need to have one leader in the team and one single way.

"If you have two different visions then the result is that the work inside the team is slow."

Vasseur said he made his decision to quit only last week, following post-season talks with other senior management members.

"We had a discussion straight after the end of last season, and we tried to find the best compromise and the best organisation for 2017," he said.

"I took one or two weeks off and I made my decision in the first week of January. It is much better to stop right now

"It is a small frustration, but I have a positive feeling that together we did a good job on some points: in terms of recruitment, in terms of restructuring the company and also in track operations.

"We improved a lot over the past season and some strong engineers will join the team over the next few weeks and months.

"The collaboration with the 1000 people who work for the team was a wonderful experience for me, because it is a real racing team.

"The frustration is like if you are building the foundations of a house and you stop after the first metre....

"But that is fine. I've made my decision".

RENAULT'S TARGETS FOR 2017

Vasseur also reckoned everything was in place for Renault to move into the top half of the field this year.

"The target is to be in the top five," he said. "That is realistic because the foundations are strong now.

"We have new guys joining the team with good experience and it will be the first car designed for the Renault power unit.

"The engine is also doing a good improvement. Everything is on the way."

When asked if he felt F1 was over for him, he said: "To be honest it was a very good experience. I learned a lot.

"Will there be a next project that I will come back for? I don't know, we will see.

"But I am really passionate about racing and racing is more than just F1."

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