Frederic Vasseur says he stepped down from his role as Renault team principal due to senior management's lack of a coherant vision about the direction the outfit should take in future.
Renault and Vasseur have mutually agreed to part ways after just one season together, following the team's difficult return season to the grid. Vasseur was installed as racing director in early 2016 before being made team principal mid-way through the season and oversaw the team's transitional year between the takeover of a threadbare Lotus operation and the new-for-2017 regulations it has focused much of its resources on.
Much was made last year of Renault's management structure, which involved Vasseur working alongside Renault Sport racing president Jerome Stroll and managing director Cyril Abiteboul, leading to suggestions the team suffered from a lack of clear leadership. Vasseur seemed to confirm this concern after his resignation, saying there were too many differing opinions among leadership for him to stay in the role for 2017.
"The reason is that there was too much different vision in the management of the team, so at this stage I think it makes sense for me to leave," Vasseur told Motorsport.com. "For the Renault team also, if you want to perform in F1, you need to have one leader in the team and one single way. If you have two different visions then the result is that the work inside the team is slow."
Vasseur went on to admit there were post-season talks between management after November's Abu Dhabi finale which he reflected on over the Christmas break before coming to a decision. Despite his departure, he is is confident Renault is in a better position than it was in 2016.
"It is a small frustration, but I have a positive feeling that we did all together a good job on some points: in terms of recruitment, in terms of restructuring the company and also in track operations. We improved a lot over the past season and some strong engineers will join the team over the next few weeks and months. So there were some positive aspects.
"The collaboration with the 1000 people who work for the Renault F1 team was a wonderful experience for me, because it is a real racing team and I appreciate a lot the collaboration with the guys. But the frustration is like if you are building the foundations of a house and you stop after the first metre.... But that is fine. I've made my decision".