RE­NAULT

F1 Racing - - SEASON PREVIEW 2016 -

MUR­RAY ON RE­NAULT It’s good for En­stone that they have road-car back­ing from Re­nault now, but I nd their com­mit­ment to mo­tor rac­ing be­wil­der­ing. I started my ca­reer and sub­se­quently drove a lot of races with Re­nault power, and over the his­tory of the sport they’ve had a great record of tech­nol­ogy and win­ning. But they’ve never em­braced the teams they’ve worked with or re­ally po­si­tioned them­selves as a se­ri­ous F1 brand in the way Fer­rari or Mercedes have.

Re­nault have had ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to ‘own’ For­mula 1, but they haven’t seized it. They’ve owned a team, sold the team, owned a team… are they com­ing or go­ing? That’s what I nd difcult about Re­nault. They are re­spected en­gi­neers, but I don’t think they’ve been very good at com­mu­ni­cat­ing and mar­ket­ing their suc­cess in For­mula 1.

I do, how­ever, think this is a great op­por­tu­nity for Kevin Mag­nussen and new boy Jolyon Palmer be­cause they will get some longevity out of the start-up, since the team will want some sta­bil­ity over the next few years as they build mo­men­tum. In my mind’s eye, Kevin should be the team leader as he’s had that bit more ex­pe­ri­ence. But if Jolyon can beat Kevin reg­u­larly, I think that will conrm Jolyon as a re­ally good driver. This is a great op­por­tu­nity for him and could be the start of some­thing big.

WHERE’S THE VA-VA-VOOM?

As what was un­der­funded Lotus de­vel­ops into full-fat Re­nault, this will be a re­build­ing year for the gritty En­stone team. With new boy Jolyon Palmer and ex-McLaren Kevin Mag­nussen in the cock­pits, let’s not ex­pect mir­a­cles.

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