Connect with us

2017 F1

Ocon candidate for 2017 F1 Renault race seat – Vasseur

Published

on

Ocon candidate for 2017 F1 Renault race seat - Vasseur

Ocon candidate for 2017 F1 Renault race seat – Vasseur

Renault’s newly-promoted ‘team principal’ has admitted French youngster Esteban Ocon is in the running for a race seat in 2017.

This week, although he was already running the new French works team, Frederic Vasseur had his place at Enstone memorialised with the official title of team boss.

But although still in 2016, Renault has its eye firmly on the future.

The team’s competitiveness has not been good this year after taking over the almost-collapsed Lotus outfit, but Vasseur said everyone at Renault “knows that the project is for the medium and long term”.

“We started from scratch,” he told Brazil’s Globo.

“If you look at other projects, you see that Mercedes needed five years to be world champion, and Red Bull won its first race only after five years. It is always a long-term process,” Vasseur added.

So after Lotus almost collapsed, he said Renault is now “investing heavily” at Enstone in a process that will continue for “the next two or three years”.

“To enlarge the space, build a new building, it takes time,” said Vasseur. “If you hire engineers from another team, you must comply with grace periods until they can start so it means it (their work) doesn’t go on the car for two years.

“You need time to develop a team and have to accept it,” he added.

“If you focus your interest only on getting a good result at Silverstone you are lost. You have to be realistic set a goal to fight for the first places in 2018 or 2019.”

Vasseur therefore confirmed speculation that Renault started work on its 2017 car long ago.

“We started early, as I believe our competitors did, with the chassis in the wind tunnel,” he said. “There is a lot of work within the group in this project.”

Renault has proved it knows how to make rapid progress by significantly improving its power unit from 2015 to 2016, but Vasseur only smiled when asked how that was possible within the current ‘tokens’ regime.

Told that he will probably not want to answer the question, Vasseur laughed: “Your question is my answer!”

He is similarly coy about Renault’s next driver lineup, although he did say the team wants young drivers rather than big names.

“First, we have two young men who are doing a good job,” said Vasseur, referring to Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer.

“The second point in the choice of our drivers is the need to build the team around them. All the success stories in F1 were made that way.

“We know we will be in a position to fight for the title in 2020 or 2021, so I need to choose a driver for then rather than now, so that he can develop and gain experience.”

One obvious choice is Frenchman Esteban Ocon, the reigning GP3 champion who was loaned by Mercedes to Renault to be reserve driver this year.

“From here in Silverstone he will often be in the car on Fridays, and will test for us next week,” Vasseur confirmed. “After that we will have a better view of his potential but he is a natural candidate to race for us in 2017.

“I know a lot of other people who would like to drive for us but until the end of August I will not think about it. We have some initial conversations with some but it is not the time to focus on that,” he added.

Comments

Latest Results




Latest F1 News

2018 F11 month ago

Lauda announces 2019 grand prix return

Niki Lauda has allayed fears that he might not return to his post at the grands prix with Mercedes. In...

2018 F11 month ago

Sauber still building staff numbers – Vasseur

Sauber is still building up its staff numbers, boss Frederic Vasseur has revealed. The Swiss team almost collapsed two years...

2018 F11 month ago

Red Bull ‘will look to Verstappen’ in 2019 – Horner

Max Verstappen will have a more significant role at Red Bull next year. That is the view of Christian Horner,...

2018 F11 month ago

London could join Silverstone in F1 – Brawn

Ross Brawn says a grand prix in the centre of London would be “unacceptable”. But the F1 sporting chief thinks...

2018 F11 month ago

Kubica not offended by Vettel comments

Robert Kubica says he is not offended by comments made by quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel. Ferrari’s Vettel said that...

2018 F11 month ago

Verstappen happy with Ricciardo replacement

Max Verstappen says he is happy with Red Bull’s pick for his new teammate. The Dutchman says he cannot understand...

2018 F11 month ago

Renault to keep working over Christmas

Staff at Renault’s works F1 team will work throughout the Christmas and New Year period. That is the news from...

2018 F11 month ago

Force India to launch 2019 car in Canada

Force India has become the second F1 team to announce a reveal date for its 2019 car. Ferrari boss Maurizio...

2018 F11 month ago

“it was a difficult experience, but it made me stronger,”- Sirotkin

Sergey Sirotkin says his aim is to return to formula one in 2020. The Russian has been replaced at Williams...

2018 F11 month ago

McLaren success is ‘long term’ aim – Sainz

Carlos Sainz says McLaren is aiming for success only in the medium to long term. The Spaniard says he is...




Most Popular

ThisisF1.com is not affiliated with Formula 1, Formula One Management, Formula One Administration, Formula One Licensing BV, Formula One World Championship Ltd or any other organization or entity associated with the official Formula One governing organizations or their shareholders. Copyrighted material used under Fair Use/Fair Comment.

References
We could use the following leading F1 news sources for stories: SkyF1, BBC F1, Autosport, ESPN F1, FIA Media Center, MotorSport, JamesAllen and others leading authors blog.

All Rights Reserved © 2017 Prime Sport Media