Frederic Vasseur says he quit as Renault boss because of “serious differences” with his management colleagues. The big rumour is that Vasseur, the team principal, and continuing managing director Cyril Abiteboul, clashed badly during Renault’s first season after returning as a full works effort in 2016. Vasseur has now told L’Equipe sports daily: “In the assessment of the first year, it appeared that there were serious differences in the management, and suddenly it was impossible to manage the team as I would have liked. But above all, it was detrimental to the overall team to have several leaders“.
Many see Vasseur’s exit as a big blow for Renault, so asked if the end of the relationship after just one year is a failure, the Frenchman was not sure. “For Renault, I don’t know. In my case, I cannot say that. It still remains positive. I think we’ve done a good job rebuilding the chassis factory at Enstone. While all this work has not paid off yet, we feel that the team has progressed in terms of track operations. It’s the same on the engine side. In Viry, they have also been able to advance the engine, which is encouraging. Failure, no. But frustration, yes.”
Renault will not be “weakened” by the departure of team boss Frederic Vasseur. That is the claim of Cyril Abiteboul, who as managing director might now be seen as the leading figure on the Enstone based race team. Vasseur’s departure follows a long period of speculation of management unrest within the French works team, which struggled in 2016 following the Lotus buyout. But Abiteboul is quoted by France’s L’Equipe: “We are not shocked by this decision, and we are not weakened. It is something that was discussed at length with Fred. The role differs at all the teams, and as far as I know, Fred will not be replaced by anyone else. If we feel that something is missing in the team, then we will act accordingly. But I do not think it is necessary today“.