Renault chairman Patrick Faure outlines his aims for 2004 Q: The team's objectives for this season are ambitious. What means do you have to achieve them? Patrick Faure. Photo by LAT Photographic. Patrick Faure: I think we can count...
Renault chairman Patrick Faure outlines his aims for 2004
Q: The team's objectives for this season are ambitious. What means do you have to achieve them?
Q: What can you tell us about your drivers?
PF: Jarno, as everybody knows, is an extremely quick driver. He proved it in qualifying last year. He also need to feel completely confident in himself: if he gets the right results at the start of the year, he will have a fantastic season. Fernando was the revelation of last season: in 2004, he needs to confirm that he is one of the drivers to watch for the next decade. Finally, Franck needs to do what Fernando did for a year, that's to say do lots of mileage and help the team in every area. Then, we will be able to see if, as we hope, he has the calibre to handle an F1 car in a race situation.
Q: A Memorandum of Understanding has been agreed between the GPWC, the three banks that hold 75% of SLEC and Bernie Ecclestone's trust. Is that good news?
PF: Yes. If, as I believe we will, we reach a definitive agreement, we will be able to count on an immediate initial benefit, from 2004: all the teams will receive a budgetary boost of around ten million dollars. Next, the way F1 operates will be more open. Furthermore, we are currently witnessing an economic upswing in Asia and the US and, as the partners who have joined us this year demonstrate, F1 is an attractive shop window. There is still progress to be made in terms of cutting costs, particularly in terms of testing. That will be our priority as soon as the GPWC agreement has been finalised.
Have you noted a change in how Renault is perceived internationally since your return to F1?
PF: This year, we have developed an indicator which we will use in the company's key markets. We will measure our position, year on year, on certain key points related to our image. This initiative is something that will happen on a timescale of two or three years: progress in image is a long-term process, which requires consistent results. Having said that, on a day-to-day basis, we can feel the interest of our customers, personnel and suppliers. Our win in Hungary gave birth to something very strong, that we must now capitalise on.