Renault team boss Fred Vasseur was thrilled at the recent Singapore Grand Prix where their Danish driver Kevin Magnussen secured the team’s highest finishing position fo the year so far.
Now as we head into the final stretch, the Frenchman looks forward to the next race in the Far East for round 16 of the Championship, the Malaysian Grand Prix…
The team enjoyed its second highest finish in Singapore – was it a boost for everyone?
We scored a point, which meant much more than a single digit to all at Viry and at Enstone and for sure it is a lift for all in the team. The motivation is always there but it’s that much more rewarding when the outcome of a race weekend is positive. This has been a long and hard season so far and we’re all at the start of a long journey so a positive result is warmly welcomed.
The team now heads to Malaysia. What’s the challenge for the team for the last six races of the season?
We must continue to work on improving all areas, however we have particular focus on those areas of car and team performance which are relevant for next season. So for the car, areas like reliability and improving our systems of understanding tyre performance are applicable. Also, for the team, areas like pit stops are crucial and we saw how well we are performing in this area with some exceptional stops from our crew in Singapore.
Are there particular targets for the drivers?
Every single race weekend is important and each venue we visit presents its own challenges. Of course we always expect the best from the drivers and that they deliver the best they can. Together as a team our sole ambition is to make progress at every opportunity. In Singapore we saw Kevin run a great race and Jolyon had quite a challenge through circumstances out of his control. We know how hard both drivers are pushing and we’re equally pushing as hard as possible to give them the best opportunity to deliver on track.
From your perspective, how have you seen the evolution of the team this season?
What we can witness during a race weekend is only the visible part of the iceberg. There is a huge amount of work going on behind the scenes from recruitment to restructuring and physical infrastructure improvement and expansion. This is a long term project and we have to go through this planning and development phase in order to reap the benefits in the future. What everyone sees on television on a Sunday afternoon is just one aspect of a Formula 1 team. We are happy that there is strong progress being made.