FEBRUARY 4, 2016
2016 right time to enter F1 says Vasseur
The sport's newest team boss, Frederic Vasseur, said 2016 is the right time for him to enter the world of formula one.
For years, the Frenchman has been on the very edge of the pinnacle of motor racing as he ran the top GP2 team ART with Nicolas Todt, whose father is the FIA president.
"I have been talking with Renault for several years," Vasseur was quoted as saying by L'Equipe, as he was unveiled as the new works team's 'racing manager' in Paris.
"We (ART) have had a lot of success and I said to myself 'This is the right time to turn the page'. I was also convinced that Renault would put the right people, structure and funding.
"It is not enough to say you want to win, it is necessary that the company is behind you. That was the catalyst for Mercedes' success.
"I have not seen the involvement of a manufacturer behind an F1 project like that for a long time, so it was an important factor in my decision," Vasseur added.
However, he has now arrived to lead Renault just after the acquisition of Lotus, who effectively collapsed financially during the course of 2015.
"The situation at Enstone was a bit complicated when I arrived, because of the tight financial situation not just of the last months, but even the last years," said Vasseur.
"On the other hand, there was a level of motivation and incredible expectation compared to other teams. A lot of the people had been at Enstone in the successful days," he added.
But Vasseur said motivation alone will not be enough power for 2016, with Renault Carlos Ghosn saying the aim is to be on the podium by 2018.
"The ambition of Renault is clear," Vasseur agreed, "to be on the podium in the third year and in a position to be champion by the fifth.
"The goal in 2016 is to build the team."