Renault F1 team will not replace outgoing team principal Vasseur

Renault will not appoint a direct replacement for outgoing team principal Frederic Vasseur, and will instead share his responsibilities among remaining members of the Formula 1 team, Autosport has learned

Renault F1 team will not replace outgoing team principal Vasseur

The French manufacturer announced on Wednesday that Vasseur would leave the team by 'mutual consent', following a difference of opinion among senior management about Renault's vision for its future in F1.

Speaking at a media event for Renault technical partner Infiniti's engineering academy at Autosport International, Renault F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul said Vasseur would not be replaced directly.

"As far as I'm concerned we will not replace Fred in the capacity of team principal," Abiteboul said.

"We don't feel shocked or weakened by the announcement. It was something that was discussed at length with Fred.

"We tried to make it work, but at some point in time, when it's obvious that it doesn't work, we have to make a decision and move on.

"If we feel we are weakened or held back by the fact we don't have a team principal, we will take action, but I don't think that is a necessity at this point in time."

Autosport understands progress made in revamping Renault's engine base at Viry, and ongoing work rebuilding and re-staffing the race team's factory at Enstone, has progressed to a level that will allow Abiteboul to attend every F1 race this year.

He will take on some of Vasseur's responsibilities, while Ciaron Pilbeam, who has returned to Enstone from McLaren, will share track engineering duties, allowing trackside director of operations, Alan Permane, space to work more closely with the team's drivers.

Abiteboul reckons the role of a team principal has changed with the growing complexity of modern F1, requiring greater numbers of specialists, rather than one over-arching "omniscient" leader, and that it isn't strictly necessary to have for every team, depending on its individual structure.

He feels Renault's revamped structure has the capacity to absorb the loss of Vasseur without hiring a replacement.

"We have a lot on our plate but we have a structure that is very robust and in which I personally believe," Abiteboul said.

"We've done lots of changes to the management structure in Viry, and I believe what we've done with Red Bull from an engine point of view is a demonstration that this structure is very capable.

"It's a bit the same in Enstone. A lot of things have happened - we've had a transfer of staff from Viry to Enstone, Rob White has taken on the role of operations director.

"We have recruited a lot. There will be more people joining the technical structure at a higher level at Enstone, reporting to Nick [Chester, chassis technical director].

"One example is Ciaron Pilbeam, who's coming from McLaren and is very keen to come back to Enstone.

"From Bob Bell, Nick Chester, Rob White in Enstone; Remi Taffin, Cyril Dumont, in Viry, we have a very, very strong structure."

shares
comments
Formula 1 teams will sandbag in 2017 winter testing, says Pirelli
Previous article

Formula 1 teams will sandbag in 2017 winter testing, says Pirelli

Next article

Martin Brundle had minor heart attack during 2016 Monaco Grand Prix

Martin Brundle had minor heart attack during 2016 Monaco Grand Prix
How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge Plus

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge

While creating a car that is woefully off the pace is a nightmare scenario for any team, it inadvertently generates the test any engineering department would relish: to turn it into a winner. As Mercedes takes on that challenge in Formula 1 this season, McLaren’s former head of vehicle engineering reveals how the team pulled of the feat in 2009 with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Aug 15, 2022
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022