Renault boss Frederic Vasseur steps down

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Renault has announced Frederic Vasseur has stepped down from his role as team principal on the eve of the 2017 season.

Renault had a frustrating season back on the Formula One grid last year, though that was expected after its late takeover of a Lotus outfit which had struggled financially in 2015. Vasseur joined the team as racing director ahead of that campaign following management success in junior categories and was seen as a vital part of the Renault's rebuilding project.

Vasseur was then made team principal during the summer break, putting him in direct control of performance and results of the team, while Cyril Abiteboul moved into a factory role at Enstone. Vasseur also played a major role in luring Nico Hulkenberg from Force India for the 2017 season.

Renault confirmed his departure on Wednesday.

A statement said: ""After a first season spent relaunching and rebuilding its Formula One team, Renault Sport Racing and Frederic Vasseur have agreed by mutual consent to part company, effective as of today. Both parties remain committed to maintaining the good working relationship they have enjoyed and expect this to take a new form sometime in the future."

The news comes with just over six weeks until the first winter test in Barcelona, which commences on February 27.