The Renault has taken a hit ahead of the 2017 season with the news that its team principal Frederic Vasseur has left the team.
Forget F1 driver market silly season, at the moment it seems to be silly season for personnel. On Tuesday Paddy Lowe announced his departure from Mercedes.
James Allison is reportedly in the frame to take his place and return to F1, while Vasseur has now decided to leave Renault.
Vasseur previously ran the ART team in junior categories and only joined Renault at the start of the 2016 season.
It’s fair to say last year was a very tough one for Renault but alongside managing director Cyril Abiteboul, they set about making big changes and recruiting new people.
Renault have sounded pretty confident about the 2017 season with new driver Nico Hulkenberg alongside Jolyon Palmer, but just a few months before the first race, Vasseur has decided to leave.
It was by “mutual consent” but various reports suggest Vasseur had a different opinion on the future direction of Renault, which is why he resigned.
Here’s the full statement:
“After a first season spent relaunching and rebuilding its Formula 1 team, Renault Sport Racing and Frederic Vasseur have agreed by mutual consent to part company, effective as of today. Both parties remain committed to maintaining the good working relationship they have enjoyed and expect this to take a new form sometime in the future.
“The outlook of Renault’s second season back in Formula 1, as well as the resources implemented to meet them, will be set out in detail at the presentation of the team’s new race car. The Renault Sport Racing and the Formula 1 team continue to be managed by Jérôme Stoll, its president, and Cyril Abiteboul, its managing director.”
While things all sound positive in the press release despite Vasseur’s departure, it will surely be a hit to Renault with such a short amount of time before the 2017 season.