Fry: No low-hanging fruit like at McLaren to improve Renault F1 team

Jonathan Noble
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Renault technical director Pat Fry says the challenge of changing the Formula 1 manufacturer's fortunes is different to what he faced at McLaren because there is not much "low-hanging fruit".

Fry joined Renault earlier this month from McLaren, which praise him for playing an instrumental part in the team's most competitive F1 package since 2014 as it secured fourth in the constructors' championship.

But while Renault has hired Fry to enforce a level of technical leadership it felt it was previously lacking, he played down suggestions that he only needs to repeat what he did at McLaren.

"The challenge is different," he said.

"McLaren had a few specific problems that were not simple to fix but there were some low-hanging fruit, I guess.

"I've only been here for a few days now, so I think that there are lots of things we need to be doing and reviewing.

"It's too early to see exactly where we are.

"There are lots of good people and lots of good tools. You need that right combination of the best tools, the best people and the best methodologies to actually develop."

While Fry will have a direct involvement in the development of the 2020 and 2021 cars, he said a lot of his work will be on ensuring Renault's infrastructure is working at its best.

"I want to try and make sure that we're set up with all the right tools: and motor racing is fairly simple," he said.

"It's good tools, good people, good methodologies, and then time. You've got to get all those things working.

"You need all three and you need everyone to be collaborative to work together.

"I think that is key to making it work.

"The car programme, I am only just getting into it really. I'm trying to have a quick look at all the areas to see where I think my time is best spent to start with.

"McLaren was a bit different because it was just going for a fix of that particular car."

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Fry added it was essential he planned for the longer term too, especially ahead of F1's major rules overhaul for 2021.

"You always need to have your eye on the longer-term goals," he said.

"It's very easy, and I guess Ferrari [at which Fry worked from 2010-2014] was a classic place for everything being driven by the next race.

"You don't go forward long term by doing that, so you must find that right balance.

"I want to get involved with the 2020 car as well as the 2021. 2021 is a massive project and I've got a huge amount of catching up to do."

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