Vasseur impressed by Renault’s start to new F1 season

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Renault racing director Frederic Vasseur is impressed by the French manufacturer’s start to the 2016 Formula 1 season, but feels that there is still more to come in the near future.

Renault returned to Formula 1 as a constructor for the first time since 2010 in Australia after taking over Lotus in December.

The French marque has been treating 2016 as a formative year as it looks to rebuild at Enstone, but was in contention for points in Australia and Bahrain.

Jolyon Palmer finished 11th in Australia before failing to make the start in Bahrain, while Kevin Magnussen finished P12 and P11 in the respective races despite running low in the order early on.

“Honestly, I can say I am impressed. The push and drive from the team is strong,” Vasseur said.

“That is not to say there are not improvements to be made. As everyone is learning, I am a stern taskmaster and there are many elements and details we’ll address.

“The key to success in motor racing is not just one aspect, it’s focusing on every detail. By making many small improvements we will work forwards.”

Vasseur said that Renault is roughly where he expected it to be in the pecking order, believing that points are well within the team’s reach.

“We are generally where we expected to be, but equally some way short of where we all want to be,” Vasseur said.

“We know it’s a long term project, but that doesn’t mean we will sit back. I want everyone fighting as hard for the position in front whether it’s P10 or P1. That’s how we’ll regain the success we want.

“In terms of race pace there are positive signs; we’re not so far from Williams and we’re not so far from finishing with points.”