Renault’s recruitment failing because of lack of belief
Renault have conceded they are struggling to recruit staff for their Formula One team because there is a lack of belief in its ambitions and commitment. The French manufacture took over Lotus in December soon realising the team was weak in the terms of staff.
Today the teams managing director Cyril Abiteboul revealed the numbers remain low and there has been reluctance from some Renault has approached. Abiteboul told Autosport “Where we are behind in terms of our plans is on the human side. Bringing in people as quickly as we would like – both in quantity and quality – has been more difficult than anticipated.”
He added there are people wanting to join the team but says he doesn’t understand why the team are finding it difficult to recruit them because people are finding it difficult to take the project seriously and don’t understand there commitment to the project.
“First we have to convince them, and frankly that’s one area where we are struggling, and I don’t understand why we’re struggling with people to be convinced by our ambitions and how committed Renault is to this project.” Abiteboul admitted there arrival will have no impact on this years.
He hopes that the total number of staff will rise to 590 by the end of the year, with the current level around the 500 mark, despite the doubters. “It’s been a number of engineers in particular. Frankly I’m not going to give names,” said Abiteboul.
Autosport say they understand James Allison, who recently departed from his role as technical director at Ferrari, is high on Renault’s list.
F1 needs to think already about new rules
Mercedes technical director Paddy Lowe says the sport needs to begin thinking about the next set of engine rules which will replace the ones due to be brought in next season.
When the current V6 Turbo’s were introduced Mercedes have been criticised for their dominance of the sport and he thinks a long-term plan would avoid similar mistakes being made with the next set of rules.
When asked about engines after 2020, Lowe told ESPN “That’s a good question and it’s a big question. I think it is about time we started to talk about the engine beyond this one and it does raise some very big considerations”
“how do we define an engine or power unit that is correct for the sport but also relevant to the kind of power units that we will see in the future in road cars? Do we make remain in some way related attached to that technology which is increasingly electrical or do we go our own way? So there are some very very important questions there.” He added.
Lowe thinks the sound of the engines needs to be a key consideration post-2020 — especially if F1 wants to remain relevant to road cars. He says he thinks that the sport needs to remain relevant to roads cars it can’t go back to nosy engines.
He said “we want noise, will we associate noise with performance or not? There are some very interesting debates there and I think we need to start that process.”
Key on way to being a great – Tost
Toro Rosso’s team principal says that the teams technical director James Key is on the path to being one of the sports leading design gurus. Franz Tost says such progress proves Key has all the qualities to join Red Bull’s Adrian Newey as one of the most celebrated designers in the sport.
Key has overseen the teams steady rise through the field over the last few years and has pulled off a late call to redesign the teams car following a switch to Ferrari power units. The team despite this have managed to make progress rising to fifth in the championship.
Speaking to F1.com Tost said “James has developed a lot in the last few years, and he has built up an excellent team around him. Adrian Newey is simply much more experienced, but I am convinced that James will be one of the top technical personalities in F1 in a couple of years.”
Tost was asked if Key could succeed Newey as one of the great designer he replied “Why not? But it will depend much on where the regulations go. As always in life it is a matter of being in the right place at the right time.”
He was also pushed whether there was any concern that Key could be courted by rival teams, Tost – speaking before James Allison’s departure from Ferrari – said “Of course it is always a person’s ambition to do as they want – but nevertheless James has a contract with Toro Rosso and I expect that he will respect this contract.”
More open following GPDA letter
Jenson Button says the sport has been come “more open” following the letter in March from the trade union of the drivers calling the sports decision making process “obsolete and ill-structured”.
Drivers have not official voting power over the sports new regulations, which are devised by F1’s Strategy Group, voted on by the F1 Commission and rubber-stamped by the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council.
The letter called on F1 to devise a “master plan” to restructure this format to prevent similar “gridlock” in future. But there has been no change in the structure, however Button believes the FIA has been more willing to listen to what drivers have to say since the GPDA went public.
“We feel that we do have a say anyway and since our comments earlier in the year, the FIA have been more open to our opinions, but they would prefer it is behind closed doors rather than in the press. Button told ESPN.
He added “I think that we have a reasonable say but you always want more because you always think we have more to give, rather than take, and that’s definitely what we’re here to do — make the sport a better place.” Berine Ecclestone response was calling them ‘windbags’ telling them to keep their views to themselves.
Button added “I think it showed to the world that there are issues in F1 and the drivers know they are issues and are willing to help. Of course we got replies from certain individuals and I think our comments were valid and I think they understand that.”
“The important thing is that we’re all willing to what we can to improve the sport.”
Silverstone MD suspended
The managing director of Silverstone Patrick Allen has been ‘suspended’ following reports that the sale of the circuit has hit problems.
Last weekend it emerged that Porsche is considering using a clause in its existing contract with Silverstone to block the proposed £33 million sale of the circuit to rival car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover.
The deal could be in jepered because it is understood that Porsche have a contract which limits testing by other manufacturers. A rival approach from engineering entrepreneur and racing team owner Lawrence Tomlinson had already previously been rejected.
Its understood that Allen has a close connection to the engineering entrepreneur and racing team owner Lawrence Tomlinson had already previously been rejected. Allen was the commercial director of Tomlinson’s LNT Group which owns sports car manufacturer Ginetta.
Those past ties have now apparently led to Allen being suspended from his role with immediate effect. Allen took over the role in 2014 after his predecessor Richard Phillips was also suspended, although no further action was taken.
A BRDC statement said we “can confirm that Patrick Allen is currently on a leave of absence from Silverstone Circuit, but as this is a private matter we cannot comment further.”
BRDC chairman John Grant added that “Patrick is taking a leave of absence because we are in discussion with Lawrence, alongside continuing discussions with JLR and exploring a number of other expressions of interest.”
The club could be set for a tense AGM next month leading to a spilt over the allegations against Allen.
F1 Today will be taking a week’s break for holiday leave from today the next edition will be Monday 22nd August. Reporters returns Sunday.