Renault's Vasseur happy to close the curtain on 2016

© XPB 

On the eve of the last race of the 2016 season in Abu Dhabi, Renault team principal Fred Vasseur says that he'll be happy to put the year behind and focus entirely on 2017.

Renault's return as a fully works outfit this season has been an arduous task for the French manufacturer as it grew accustomed once again to the intricacies of Grand Prix racing.

Vasseur will be looking for a strong and positive conclusion in Abu Dhabi, and as far as he's concerned, Sunday evening can't come soon enough.

"We've certainly been busy in 2016, not only has there been the normal challenges of a race season - and a very long one at that - but we've been making and implementing plans for the future, explained Vasseur

"It's one task after the next so you can really feel that time flies. The season has been a long one and I think that the entire paddock will be glad come Sunday night in Abu Dhabi!"

As he reflects upon the past year, Vasseur puts forth some of the challenges and high points of the soon-to-end campaign.

"There was a learning and discovery phase to start off with - getting to know people and their methods - and from this a feeling of mutual trust developed.

"The general atmosphere has been positive and very studious; we are working hard to progress and we are all focused on the same objectives.

"Each week there is better collaboration and that's an important aspect in the future success of the team. We've made real progress in 2016.

"Scoring our first points in Sochi was an important milestone for the team and also a relief. Jolyon's first point was equally important because it was the result of his hard work and another step forward.

"At the end of the day, being regularly in a position to score is more important than one-offs and we've made decent progress to getting to that position."

As for the team's outlook for Abu Dhabi and the future, Vasseur insists it will still be about moving ahead while looking forward to its 2017 driver lineup.

"I'd like us to continue to work seamlessly as a team and to use even the last race of the season to learn lessons for next year.

"We're excited about our new car and can't wait to see it hit the track in February. We know our driver line-up: Jolyon is already part of the family and we look forward to be starting work with Nico at the end of his contract with Force India. I think that we have a strong line-up for what we need to achieve in 2017."

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