May 5 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Frederic Vasseur says Renault is looking to re-create its glory of the past by building towards success with a promising new driver.
The French carmaker returned to full works team status for 2016 with Kevin Magnussen, a formerly McLaren-backed Dane, and the 2014 GP2 champion Jolyon Palmer.
And nipping at the race duo’s heels are Esteban Ocon, the team’s highly-rated reserve driver, and the new SMP Racing-backed tester Sergey Sirotkin.
“The best thing now is to find a driver who will be the world champion in, say, 2020 and 2021,” Vasseur, Renault team boss, is quoted by Russia’s Championat.
“So it is necessary to start work now. If you look at the past, something like what Red Bull did with Vettel, Renault with Alonso and Benetton with Schumacher.
“But we need a few years for such a cooperation to gain momentum,” he added.
Indeed, the Frenchman said he doubts even the radical rule changes for 2017 will give Renault the opportunity to immediately leap up the grid.
“It’s not just about the rules but the structure of the team,” said Vasseur. “Yes, a rule change could give us an advantage, but I don’t think we can immediately reduce the gap.”