Alain Dassas, the out-going President of the Renault F1 Team, evaluates the achievements of the past eighteen months. Q: How do you evaluate your time as President of the Renault F1 Team? Alain Dassas: Overall, it has been a very fruitful ...
Alain Dassas, the out-going President of the Renault F1 Team, evaluates the achievements of the past eighteen months.
Q: How do you evaluate your time as President of the Renault F1 Team?
Alain Dassas: Overall, it has been a very fruitful period. On track, the team won two world championships last year, and behind the scenes, we have made genuine progress. Firstly, the commercial agreement between the teams and FOM that was reached last year enabled Renault to reinforce its long-term commitment to Formula 1.
Secondly, we have established an extensive programme to leverage the Formula 1 programme at every level of the Renault Group. This is to ensure that the company derives maximum benefit from its involvement and success in the sport.
Q: What are the team's prospects for the future?
AD: The team is already working hard preparing for the 2008 season, and the target is obviously to return to the front of the field, where Renault belongs. So far, the situation looks positive and on the financial side, everything is in place for the team to do so.
The team's title partner, ING, has demonstrated a strong commitment to the sport and is already one of the best known in Formula 1. We have established a very good working relationship between the two companies at every level.
In addition, we recently announced a substantial programme of technology investment at Enstone to ensure the team maintains its on-track competitiveness. Motivation is very high, and I am confident the team can be competitive from 2008.
Q: Why are you leaving the team before the end of the season?
AD: Mr Ghosn has wanted to appoint a Chief Financial Officer at Nissan for some time, and it represents an exciting professional challenge for me. This is an opportune moment for the transition to occur: it will allow me to take up my duties prior to the beginning of the second half of the Japanese financial year on 1 October, while on the Formula 1 front, it will ensure the team has the proper means to prepare smoothly for 2008 and allow my successor, Bernard Rey, to settle into his position prior to the new season.
Q:y Finally, what do you take from your Formula 1 experience?
AD: First of all, immense pride. The double championship victory in 2006 was a tremendous achievement, and it was a privilege to participate in it with this extremely talented group of people. Secondly, the satisfaction of leaving the team in a healthy situation, having reinforced Renault's commitment to the sport.
And finally, the conviction that Formula 1 is a particularly useful investment for a major manufacturer such as Renault. The team's success brought the Group exceptional visibility, and the sport is a formidable marketing platform when it is leveraged properly.