Recent Renault Sport Formula 1 Team recruit Nico Hulkenberg, is said to have not been too pleased upon hearing the news that Team Principal Frederic Vasseur had resigned.
The Frenchman, who was brought into the Renault set-up from the start of the 2016 season, is believed to have been a key factor in persuading Hulkenberg to join the Enstone based squad from the Sahara Force India F1 Team in 2017, the German having driven for Vasseur in Formula 3 and GP2, and knowing him well.
Speaking to Canal+ Sport recently, the Frenchman confessed it was a tough decision for Hulkenberg to hear, but he believes it will not deter the German from working hard and moving the team forward.
“I am close to Nico and I put a lot of efforts in getting him drive for Renault. I think my decision to leave the team was best because it was not working, it’s clear.
“Nico and I talked a lot about my decision. He’s been very supportive. My decision was hard for him to accept, but he is fully involved and he will give his best. That’s a reason why I wanted him in the team.
“The team is being restructured and for me it was important to have a leader. Whatever may happen, Nico will act as a leader and pull the team forward. I think it’s a crucial factor in the success of a team.”
Vasseur has always been a big fan and supporter of Hulkenberg, who he feels has the talent to still achieve a world championship at some point in his career.
“I think he’s one of the most talented drivers I’ve seen in the junior series for the past 10 years.
“Only three drivers captured the GP2 title in their rookie season: Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Nico Hulkenberg. I think Nico is one of the few drivers who can win the world championship.”
The Frenchman was however unwilling to give anything away on his own future following his resignation, but commented that he was happy with his current commitments to Formula E and GP2.
“I’m already involved in Formula E and I really enjoy it. I will continue to follow it despite the fact that I am less involved nowadays.
“I also have a team running in the GP2 Series [ART], but I’m not really concerned in its daily running.
“As far as Formula 1 is concerned, we’ll see what the future holds.”