Renault want ‘charismatic’ driver to lead team

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In the round-up: Renault’s Cyril Abiteboul says the team are eyeing a ‘charismatic’ driver to lead them in 2017.

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Will Wood
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72 comments on “Renault want ‘charismatic’ driver to lead team”

  1. I never realised “fast” and “charismatic” were the same.

    1. It sounded to me like he was mistaking ‘charisma’ for ‘being German’.

      1. Ahah, I noticed that. I believe it was most likely coincidental mind

    2. @hohum I’d be quite certain that they want somebody who is both, as the examples showed.

      Although sadly the article mentions the likes of Palmer and Bottas, neither of whom have particularly impressed with their speed this year. It also mentions Perez, who is probably the best of the drivers mentioned. If I were Perez I would be looking at this as a potential move. He’s been at Force India for a long time, but with promising gains to come from Renault, it could be a good move. I don’t think it would be a bad move for Alonso from 2018, if he decides not to retire, and McLaren are still nowhere.

      1. Frankly I think Perez should continue with Force India in 2017 and then move to Renault in ’18. The reason being that FI have been moving upwards with this year being one of their strongest yet. Renault have a 5 year plan which is going to be mid-way by 2018 and that is when I think someone as good as Perez may consider moving over there. Let us not forget that Renault started very late last year and at the time said they made very minor modifications to a chassis that was largely inherited from a cash starved Lotus. And having no time, said 2016 would be a year of learning and development for their subsequent chassis. So I am not surprised at all with their performance. I am rather impressed that they did not slip backwards. That shows promise.
        2017 would therefore be the year for the likes of Perez to sit by and watch how the new chassis properly designed by Renault develops and interacts with the PU which has so far shown some promise.
        So 2018, is a year I think Renault should pull Perez. But to begin with I think they need someone new in 2017 to replace one of their current drivers – I am not gonna name names, so that they can get better feedback on the new chassis and PU going forward.

        1. So Lewis should have stayed at Mclaren until Mercedes showed domination potential?

          You make your moves before the results in F1.

          Why would Renault want Perez when they have a great chassis? Then any driver could win in it. Perez will not be a top name in ’18 unless he moves to a team in ’17 who he grows with.

          1. Make no mistake Mercedes was showing a lot of promise for 2013, everyone was speculating 2014 engine would have like 100 hp more than others…

            And McLaren was imploding. Lewis made a very good choice.

            Perez cannot pick Renault right now, he needs those SFI podiums, otherwise nobody would consider him as a top driver.

          2. @jureo

            If Renault ‘pick’ Perez you mean?

            Renault are not going to wait. If he has the offer this year I promise he won’t have the offer next year.

            Take or leave it but Renault want to sign someone for more than a year if they are looking for a leader.

            Staying at FI is the worst career advice I’ve ever heard. Not even alonso makes career choices that terrible.

          3. +1 could not agree more, move before it’s obvious, particularly if you’re in a resource-restricted team which might get you the odd podium but not much else. I think that Perez is a good enough driver that even if they didn’t perform people would still rate him. That team produced a good car more recently than even mclaren, and Perez has a much stronger chance of beating the likes of raikonnen, rosberg etc for a drive. He needs to be in a team with resources that he can help lead and build up, otherwise he risks being a no.2 in a top team. Never used to rate him, even after the dauber performances which were partly a quirk of the tyre rules, this year completely changed my opinion of him.

          4. I’ll add to my last comment. If he had verstappen-like raw talent it wouldn’t matter if he was at FI as the top teams would see he’s out driving the car. Perez has had a longer patchier career and needs to pull a Button-style career, who’s really capitalised on being a valued member of the team. Did he have to wait for his WC? Yes, but he got it.

        2. Perez should move to Renault for 2017 that the reuls change. To Waste more time at FI would be ridiculous.

      2. @strontium, confession ; I didn’t read the article due to the premise being confusing. Reading your comment maybe charisma equals cash or as @matt90 points out,from the teaser, it could equally be German .

    3. @hohum I never realized Rosberg was a team leader, definetly not in the same league as Vettel or Schumacher, regardless of the differences in their sucess.

      1. Anthony Blears
        8th August 2016, 1:23

        My first thought was ‘Wait what? Rosberg is charismatic?’

        1. Only compared to his teammate :)

        2. Rosberg is awful in the charisma department; but i guess compared with his bully teammate who is a mean winner and when he loses is a sore loser he could be coming on top in charisma.

          1. Cry me a River…

          2. total bull, cheatberg is the worst sulker on the grid.

      2. @fer-no65, for Nico it just must be that famous Finnish/German charisma.

        1. Yeah lol, though Kimi and Hakkinen are charismatic in a way. But you wouldnt exactly pick them as team leaders.

    4. Well, remember their little publicity stunt with Carmen Jorda? A useless driver with so called media appeal. Sure, it was technically Lotus, but still, she’s a Renault backed driver.

      1. Maybe they want Nico to move to Renault.

    5. I think Cyril Abiteboul wants a certain german in thename of Rosberg to lead his team. Might be a good move for both

  2. Sad to see the Jacarepagua circuit demolished like that. Maybe in two years Bernie will see it as an opportunity to make another Olympic Park ‘street’ circuit. A similar layout will be used to the previous circuit, but with all character removed, car park run offs, and corners limited to 90° with apex radii no bigger than 7 metres.

    1. The Rio city government is working on a new circuit is located right across one of the 4 major Olympic facilities in Deodoro. They had to suspend construction in Nov. 2014 so they would have public funds available for building the Olympic Park facilities- but I hope they resume construction of it, because it looks pretty good (article is in Portuguese):

      1. That looks interesting. The grass layout looks promising but the circuit itself does have a fair few stop-start corners, it would appear

    2. I’m currently in Brazil working here at the Olympics and I’ve been trying to get a feel for the old Jacarepaguá circuit on the Olympic site, but really there is no evidence that it ever existed, which is a real shame. Most people have no clue about the history of this place which is realistically now just a glorified car park.
      I’m currently sat pretty much in the middle of the old Curva Sol corner which is now a temporary building. I can imagine that it was once a great setting here by the lagoon, but now its really devoid of character.

      1. @eurobrun It’s a real shame to hear that. It’s disappointing that there isn’t even a nod to the past there

  3. That Singapore GP gave me a scare. Thank God the police discovered the plan way before the race, but still I’m unsure how the FIA and organizers will handle the event after that…

    1. *Singapore GP article

    2. Evil Homer (@)
      8th August 2016, 13:04

      Yes this is a bit of a worry I am off to Singapore for the Grand Prix but I certainly wont be making any changes in our plans otherwise you let these ***** win!! I am there to see Daniel win!!

      Not sure what the FIA/FOM can do to increase security if they are looking to launch a missile from another island, but the article does say they aren’t even sure if they we in a position to do anything, but its not good!

      Does anyone know if F1 has ever been subject to a terror treat or attack before? Nothing comes to mind but not too sure??

      1. @evilhomer Not sure specifically about terror threats, but there were serious issues at the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix, especially with some members of Force India. I think terror threats could be a huge issue though

    3. Considering it was a couple of guys talking about it on Facebook and they had in their possession some rudimentary explosives and firearms, I would say there was nothing to worry about missiles raining in from Indonesia.

      1. You are still more likely to be hit by lightning than by so called “Islamic terrorists”, none of whom follow any principles of Islam and are generally drug using/selling, alcohol drinking, non mosque going, non religious as described by family and friends individuals who travel around the world to kill people but don’t drive 60 miles to Israel to do so.

  4. Hey Monisha: if you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen- or hire more employees. F1 is a big money sport. If Williams and Force India are coping, then so can Sauber.

    1. Both Pat Symonds and Bob Fearnley of Williams and Force India respectively were complaining about 21 races being too much as well at the beginning of the year. Should they get out of the kitchen too?

    2. As @montreal95 mentions, this has nothing to do with either Kaltenborn or Sauber specifically @mfreire. Fact is that for the smaller teams (who get a LOT less money to hire people with) it is pretty tough to make the long and travel intensive calendar work.

      It would help a lot if Bernie did not seem to put it together seemingly to make it as tough and expensive on teams as he could (see the Canada-Baku double header in the order it was in this year for example)

      1. @bascb In fairness, this year they have put Malaysia and Singapore next to each other, and moved Russia to a more suitable spot

    3. @montreal95 @bascb It’s not just some of the smaller teams either, I know of a lot of people within F1 who feel that 21 races is too many & especially feel that having 5 races in 4 weeks through June/July was way too much.

      Things aren’t like they were 10-15 years ago when teams had enough guys to have them on rotation through the year to ensure everyone got a break, Its largely the same group of guys/girls going to every single race now & working in the factories when there not traveling to/from a GP & this is even more severe for the smaller teams that have half the employees that some of the larger teams have with no option to hire more as they simply don’t have the budget.

      1. @gt-racer Couldn’t agree more. This year’s schedule makes no sense. Especially with the reduced head-counts

        I think there should be a hard limit of 20 races/year, but more importantly, there should be logic applied in the placement of the races within the schedule. But logic seems in short supply in F1 at the moment, except in the teams’ tech departments

      2. I certainly agree that we really don’t need more races and I think that you are right that even for the large teams who can afford to have some staff rotation it is still a gruelling calendar to keep up with @gt-racer

    4. Peter Sauber said that if Monisha wasn’t running Sauber then it would have been shut down.

    5. Fun fact:
      Not too long ago, a different visitor of this site told Monisha Kaltenborn to get back into the kitchen.

      1. I think they should try to limit the number of races to 20. Also the calendar should be planned better. I don’t know why this always seems to be impossible. The Canada – Baku thing was madness.

        Better planning on dates might save money as well. As to getting down to 20 I would not be bothered to lose the races in Russia or Singapore or possibly Bharain. I think 4 races in the central/east (including Russia) and far east is one too many somewhere. If Germany were to drop off the list though it might free up a place. I would also like to see the season end in Brazil like it used to.

  5. I hope Kvyat bounces back. He’s definitely a better driver than his past 6 to 7 races have indicated. If he wants a drive for 2017, it’s about time he gets his head back in the game. Personally, I still think he’s got more potential than Magnussen, Palmer, Haryanto, Nasr and Ericcson, but with this fragile mental state, it might make him unattractive to a lot of teams.

    1. Two years ago he was hailed as a top rookie. Now he is in despair, but underneath he is a properly quick driver.

  6. MAG is a great driver – he won all other series and Still very young – with a podium first year in Mcclaren! Give him just one season in a Renault 2017 with race specs close to the other cars… He will shine! This season his star was covered by a 2015 spec lotus chassis with a pitcrew fumbling round in tyre strategi and missing technical skills..mclaren sucks – look what they did to KEV, PER, BUT…would never thrust them my racecarrier!

    1. Nu, Kevin did not win every other series that he competed in – he was 3rd in the overall classification for the German Formula 3 series, second to da Costa in Formula Renault 2.0, was second to Nasr in the British Formula 3 series and, in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 series, was only 7th.

      In his junior career, he only managed to take the title in two series – the Danish Formula Ford series in 2008 and the 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 series (having come 7th the previous year).

  7. “And time has changed. Young people, more and more they are going in higher sport categories, including business, including everything. And people are developing much faster by time, simply because of the tools that are available today for them to study and understand what is happening in this world.”

    Loving that realisation from Hakkinen. It takes great humility to admit our mistakes, even more so when they’re not just operational, but mistakes with our core beliefs. We’re never too old, or too expertised to stop learning and challenging what we think we know.

    1. Yeah Hakkinen is a great guy, every time I listen to him speak there is some wisdom to learn.

  8. Indeed Mika, my 7 year old has mastered, the theory anyway, of the gearbox as well as being able to text and drive at the same time, again in theory at present….;) Kids aren’t packed away in a nursery anymore and given a toy elephant to play with. They have access to everything an adult does from the get go, Max isn’t a fluke, though his age may be, he’s going to be the norm

    1. I think that’s a step to far, thinking Max wil become the norm. He is the exception. One can only speculate how much better his first season would have been had he done a GP2 season before it. It’s quite often he’s gone through his tyres too soon.

      1. Max is awesome; remember after FP1 in Germany the was “one” driver who went outside at turn one 14 times. That was Max. The kid had a plan: “see how much grip is out there and do it at the start to pass a few cars”; and he has the balls to implement it.
        Crossing the circuit from right to left and caring full speed past Ricciardo was awesome.

        And at Silverstone, on the outside of Becketts; he tried it a few laps before Nico gave him the opportunity and he realized there is grip there. That’s why he went for it; he is bold but not foolish.

        He will (un)learn not to move in the braking zone, either by himself or forced by penalties or retirements; hopefully soon before he is n the fight for the championship, because that will surely give him a few retirements.

        1. Yeah, agree with all you said. Also moving under breaking, he is pushing the limits of rules and safety to gain an advantage. Real ace.

      2. @ianbond001, @jureo But you agree with me he is still the exception, and that we won’t see a flock of drivers under their twenties in F1 all of a sudden.

        1. @xtwl Yes sir, he is exceptional and very improbable to show up again. Especially since F1 is now 18+ only. And even with previous regulations drivers like that did not show up so young since… ever.

        2. @xtwl, yeah, it is obvious he’s the exception; before him it was Kimi who was rushed into F1 and was successful.
          So maybe in another 10 years, we’ll have another one.

    2. I think there are two points to make here.

      First of all for Verstappen everything has gone perfectly right. He did well in karts, moved to cars and after half a season he was picked up by a F1 team. He avoided the tricky ladder series and grabbed every opportunity he got. He had the odd difficult race weekend, but the reality is he has never faced real adversity in his race career so far. It will be interesting to see how he reacts to an inevitable drop in form or in dealing with a crap car.

      Secondly, for Max there are at least a dozen young drivers that do not make it. Now if I’m not mistaken Verstappen only had very basic education in his younger years. For him that’s not really a problem now, but for the others how fail it will be. Not everyone will become a tv presenter or motivational speaker. Now education and sports are at odds in many cases, but in cycling for instance you see at least a number of young riders combining their sport with an academic education. Some sports like football, or smaller ones under the Olympic umbrella, usually provide some structure for education, but autosport does not. It all depends on the parents and in such an enviroment it’s risky at least for the youngsters if the norm is you have to be there at a very young age.

  9. Not sure why teams think that they need to sign a Fernando or a Kimi to be successful although I do understand that some “names” will bring in the sponsorship $.

    Surely though the teams like Renault need to gauge the potential income against the cost of actually getting one of the high profile drivers under contract.

    I’d like to see them go after one of the better “new” talents (Vandoorne, Sainz, Verstappen etc) – get a young hungry driver and spend the $ saved on giving that driver a better car.

    1. I think all teams should always go after the best drivers they can get and if it costs them more they will save that in the long run via a driver that can help get them to the bottom of their issues quicker than a less experienced and cheaper driver would. If they aren’t worthy of a top driver because they need to put together an attractive car first, then a few millions more spent on a driver as high up from bottom rung as possible is well spent in car development as they strive to create a competitive package.

    2. For the team bosses the constructors championship is the most important. But for everyone else the drivers are the heroes. So beside the driving skills which we have to agree are pretty much level in the field right now (see 2 by 2 qualies), it is the drivers that will inspire the people working in the factory and on the design board to give that extra that sometimes becomes a breakthrough idea that will give an advantage to the team for a while.
      Every team that dominated lately had a driver that galvanized the people, and gave them motivation, Michael, Fernando, somehow (i personally don’t see why but ..) Lewis, Seb.
      You may argue they had the best car, but that was not true for all years: Seb had the car advantage 2 out of 4 years, Michael 3/5 at Ferrari, Fernando one out of 2, Lewis did not have an all mighty car in 2008. And somehow they continued to come on top and dominate.
      Teams winning the championship without a figure driver are exceptions.

  10. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    8th August 2016, 15:22

    I really don’t like where the Renault driver decision is going. The plainly obvious thing to do is to replace Palmer with Ocon and give the incoming French star the benefit of Magnussen’s experience and speed. Magnussen is not having the best of seasons in terms of consistency, and ought to have been capable of beating Palmer more convincingly, but a terrific P7 in Sochi is clue to the Dane’s raw potential when the Renault squad climb the grid.

    Ocon is, in my opinion, long-term the best driver available to Renault, and lining him up against the commendable talent of Magnussen, a driver now familiar with the team and team procedures, is better than drafting in a Perez or a Bottas. Bottas especially is becoming a middling driver.

    1. Perez would be fantastic for Renault. Ocon is an unknown. Until we see what Ocon can do on Sunday’s in F1 he is a nobody. If he beats Perez he will be something special.

  11. I don’t understand why Renault aren’t trying to get Grosjean back.

    1. @paeschli Because they know that he is not a born leader and in the end not the talent they are looking for. They are looking for someone bigger to lead them.

      1. @xtwl
        I find it hard to believe that Bottas, Perez or Ocon would be a better ‘born leader’.

        A Grosjean-Ocon (or a Grosjean-Vandoorne line-up if they want to take a jab at McLaren) is so obvious for me, I can’t believe they aren’t thinking of it.

        1. @paeschli I agree Bottas, Ocon or Perez won’t be as good as Grosjean in leading the team, yet I think Renault doesn’t believe Grosjean is good enough for what they aim for. He wasn’t able to do so in the few years he raced against Maldonado either. That’s what I mean they’re looking at someone bigger, a surprise possibly could be Massa.

          I’d love to see Vandoorne here if McLaren turns out to be no option but I don’t think they brought in Magnussen last year just to shove him aside after one year of driving. Palmer is a goner, that’s for sure.

          1. Perez is the best option. Perez also brings large sponsors. The new Renault engine could be a good thing for Perez. He is currently wasting his time at Force India.

          2. Yes, I think Vandoorne is the only one available that would seem “charismatic” and bring enthusiasm. But he needs a decent car to be able to bring results and needs to confirm the expectations right away and keep doing so.
            Or maybe Button, if Vandoorne goes to McLaren.

            Perez, no way, i just don’t see it.

  12. (Anon – sorry, you are correct about winning in other raceseries – was missing “in”) – MAG has podiums in all other race series and is a Renault 3.5 winner Try to take a look at the names he was up against. Vandoorne was one of them – today called talented and beating BUT in both a race and now for seat in 2017… – also MAG have a podium with Mcclaren in F1 last year replacing PER (very funny also called a big talent now – going to Ferrari next year?.) Thrust me MAG is talented and remember still years younger than PAL. Should be odd if MAG can’t bring Renault to the top – in a new 2017 ready model – when he did this in all other Race series. Really hope he will have next season with Renault – so he can prove himself… why should Renault throw all their experience on the floor and start over again?
    Unless 2016 just was a working year for Renault to collect staff and get some training – and they never wanted MAG in the first place – but only left over… Then it could make sense to start all over with at new race chassis and 2 new drivers.. then GRO/PER/BOT and Ocon could be a oppotunity – but comeon if they (both GRO/PER and Renault) are clever then they will wait for 2018 to see if Renault is fast enough for top a 10 in 2017…and let MAG and PAL/Ocon drive next year and burn their names and race carrier. GRO/PER/BOT are homesafe in their cars at the moment with podiums in reach…cheers..

  13. Renault would be wise to partner up with Perez and his sponsors.

  14. why doesn’t Abiteboul do it himself ??? Seriously, it will amount to the same result as if they put Vettel in the car. Renault are only in F1 to save face, they won’t win anything, Ferrari and Mercedes have superior power, and RBR have the best car. Next year when the draggier cars come in, they will be punished even further. I look forward to seeing Abiteboul humbled. The FIA seem only intent on keeping Mercedes a head of the pack, Renault will be lucky to be with in 2 seconds of the top times next year.

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