Renault’s Fred Vasseur: “Monza proved to be our toughest challenge”

Jolyon Palmer - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Renault Sport F1 team principal Fred Vasseur admitted that the Italian Grand Prix was the hardest race of the season for the team after Kevin Magnussen could only finish seventeenth and Jolyon Palmer retired on Sunday.

Vasseur was disappointed not to be able to continue the promise the RS16 showed last weekend at Spa-Francorchamps at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, and said both drivers did what they could under the circumstances presented to them.

“After the promise of Spa, Monza proved to be our toughest challenge of the year,” said Vasseur.

“Jolyon made a fantastic start but was robbed of the potential to improve further by the actions of Felipe Nasr, who was punished for the incident. Kevin did what he could in a car which was clearly not suited to Monza.

Vasseur remains positive that the team’s problematic times will not continue in 2017, and is confident the behind the scenes progress made for next year will make Renault much stronger.

“We knew this season would be tough and this weekend was particularly so,” said Vasseur. “The positives are not easily seen on track but rather lie in all the hard work going on behind the scenes in Enstone and Viry and we know that in 2017 we will be far stronger.

“Our immediate focus is now on Singapore where we should show better performance than here.”