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Renault announces Frederic Vasseur’s departure

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Last year the Renault Sport F1 Team had one of its drivers change on the eve of the new season. This year, it has its team principal depart.

Renault confirmed Wednesday its team principal Frederic Vasseur, who was only in the role for one year but was key in recruiting Nico Hulkenberg to Renault from Force India, would be leaving the team.

Vasseur and Renault depart by “mutual consent” according to the team statement released. No new team principal has been named, Renault instead only choosing to name the remaining members of its F1 leadership team.

Here’s the release:

Renault Sport Racing announces that Frédéric Vasseur is leaving his role as Team Principal of the Renault Sport Formula One Team.

After a first season spent relaunching and rebuilding its Formula 1 team, Renault Sport Racing and Frédéric 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.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”