WHERE’S THE VA-VA-VOOM?
It’s good for Enstone that they have road-car backing from Renault now, but I find 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 find difficult 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 confirm Jolyon as a really good driver. This is a great opportunity for him and could be the start of something big.