The Renault F1 Team's President Patrick Faure has congratulated the team for hitting the target established last winter: finish in the top three in the constructors' championship. Q: When you established the objectives for the 2004 season, and...
The Renault F1 Team's President Patrick Faure has congratulated the team for hitting the target established last winter: finish in the top three in the constructors' championship.
Q: When you established the objectives for the 2004 season, and targeted the top three in the constructors' championship by the end of the year, did you feel they were overly demanding?
Patrick Faure: As a team boss, my role is to establish increasingly demanding objectives year on year. That is the only way of motivating the workforce, focusing their energies and maintaining a crescendo towards success. When I set the Renault F1 Team the target of finishing in the top three of the constructors' championship, I knew that meant we would have to beat McLaren, Williams or Ferrari. It was an ambitious goal and I don't think many onlookers thought it was a realistic ambition at that stage.
Q: Finally, you have done exactly that. Is that a reason to be pleased?
PF: Absolutely and I congratulate the entire team for their work this season. It is a case of mission accomplished - we are well ahead of 4th place and very close to 2nd. However, it is true that the result came about in a strange way - we are ahead of Williams and McLaren, legendary teams in the history of F1, but behind BAR, a team we perhaps did not expect to be fighting with this year. But overall, the 2004 season has been very, very positive for us.
Q: Recent weeks have seen wild rumours surrounding the Renault F1 Team. Why?
PF: We have always prided ourselves on an open communications policy. We are straightforward and don't seek to muzzle people - we prefer to let their personalities express themselves. Perhaps that also means we are more exposed to rumours. However, I don't pay any attention to them and the team does not either. It does not affect the quality of work. And in the end, it often proves the case that people are merely ill-informed.
Q: So, there should be no worries about Renault's future in Formula 1?
PF: None whatsoever. I recently met with Carlos Ghosn, the future CEO of Renault. His message was crystal clear: "Carry on!" I repeat once again that this company is committed to Formula 1 for the long term. As for the future of our relationship with Flavio Briatore, that too seems promising. Flavio has met every target we have set him thus far and if he achieves that again in 2005 - and there is no reason to think he won't - then we would be pleased to extend our collaboration into 2006.
Q: What will those targets be for next year?
PF: We have not yet precisely defined them but we will have to take another step forward. We want to be able to fight for the world title in 2005-6 and to achieve that, we must be among the teams that can fight on a level footing with Ferrari next year. I am convinced that 2005 will be a much more competitive season than this once has proved to be. The best is yet to come for the Renault F1 Team.