Renault Sport F1 Team Principal Fred Vasseur is looking forward to getting the second half of the 2016 Formula One season underway after the summer break, and is confident the Enstone based squad can achieve some positive results at the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend.
“The team is now in a period where we are moving forward.
“In the German race we fought with Haas and Toro Rosso, which shows our overall level has improved. However, we made an error in strategy, which cost one or two places. We made two stops, which was not an issue, but we did the two stops at the wrong time.
“Nevertheless there were some strong positives – we got to Q2 with Jo and punched above our weight in the race. We now need to keep fighting with the same competition and adapt our strategy moving forward.”
Following positive feedback from drivers Kevin Magnusson and Jolyon Palmer that the RS16 has been much better to drive during the last couple of rounds, and proof through their own data that they are improving race by race, Vasseur is sure the French squad are heading down the right track, with more to come from the Renault Sport machine. The former Art Grand Prix Team Principal believes they now need to get on top of other areas of the F1 operation, in order to really show their full potential.
“If you look at the last two or three events, we are improving but we need to be focussed on the smaller details. We need to look at set-up and strategy and make sure we are doing a better job compared to the last events.
“We also need to understand tyre management a bit better. Over the last two or three races we have looked at it a lot and we have a much better understanding now, so we need to keep on with this trajectory.
“We are improving on the grid but if you look at race pace we are always better off than in qualifying. This means we need to get more from the Saturday situation.
“We are going in the right direction but we need to find two or three tenths and it is in the smaller details we need to improve and find it.”
One subject that is on everyone’s lips in terms of the Renault Sport F1 team at the moment, is who will make up their driver line-up in 2017, but alas Vasseur is giving little away in that department.
“This is a question we will get asked until we announce the drivers, and maybe even afterwards!
“At the moment our focus is to keep getting the best from the car. We have two drivers that are motivated so the second part of the year is to keep track of expectations and see where we are.
“In reality we won’t take any decision before September for sure – we have no time! But it is up to us and we will take a decision when we are ready.”