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Olivier Quesnel in pole position to take over as Lotus F1 boss, but is he too old?
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Posted By: James Allen  |  10 Feb 2014   |  12:01 pm GMT  |  107 comments

Over the weekend it emerged in the French media that former Citroen and Peugeot motorsport boss Olivier Quesnel is in pole position to take over from Eric Boullier as team principal of Lotus F1 team

The role is currently filled on an interim basis by team owner Gerard Lopez, who told L’Equipe newspaper on Saturday that Quesnel is the first choice, but that “The decision is not yet made.”

Quesnel, who has a glittering career of success in rally and sportscars, was on the list of candidates four years ago when Lopez hired Boullier for the role and he was the first thought this time. But there are thought to be two factors which are giving shareholders pause for thought.

One is his age: Quesnel is 64 years old, quite an age to make a debut in the Piranha Club of Formula 1. Mercedes’ boss Toto Wolff is 42, Boullier, now team boss at McLaren is 41, Christian Horner is 40 and even Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali is a veteran of 48 years old.

If he were to get the job, Quesnel would be the second oldest team principal after Sir Frank Williams (see table below)

Another is his command of English, the language of Formula 1 communication in press conferences and all stakeholder meetings with FIA and FOM.


Quesnel is currently active in motorsport via JN Holding Group and its Oak Racing team in sportscars, for whom Alex Brundle (son of Martin) drives.

Lopez is understood to have spoken to former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh, but it is thought unlikely that he would move into the role at Lotus. Sources in France have not been able to name any other notable candidates under consideration.

However it has emerged recently that former Midland F1 boss Colin Kolles is floating around in the background of the Enstone operation, albeit without any specific executive position.

It seems that Lopez and his company Genii are keen to move forward with the appointment of a new team principal, with the start of the new season just five weeks away, so a decision may come sooner rather than later.

Quesnel worked closely with Jean Todt in establishing the Peugeot Sport department which went on to be so successful in rallying, Rally Raid and World Sportscars.

He was most recently the boss of Citroen’s all-conquering world rally team.

* Lotus confirmed on Monday that it’s car ran for the maximum allowable 100km for a shakedown test in Jerez on Saturday, having managed only one lap on Friday. It will now join the other F1 cars at the Bahrain test starting on Wednesday February 19th.

Asked about how its power train performed, Renault Sport F1 confirmed that “The latest power unit configuration was deployed without any reliability problems, allowing Lotus to complete the maximum amount of kilometres permitted on a filming day. Updates developed in the dyno at Viry (Renault Sport’s base in Paris) during and post-Jerez test were run. Updates included minor hardware changes, software bug fixes and calibration improvements

Renault is playing catch up after a troubled Jerez test. The FIA Sporting Regulations forbid development work in shakedown tests, so Renault was at pains to point out that “upgrades trialed in the dyno in Viry were validated” but insisted that “no development was pursued during the filming day.”

OLIVIER QUESNEL’S MOTORSPORT RECORD

World rally champions (Citroen): 2008,09,10,11 – 36 WRC victories
Le Mans 24 Hours winner: 2009

CURRENT AGES OF F1 TEAM PRINCIPALS

Sir Frank Williams (Williams) 71
John Booth (Marussia) 59
Vijay Mallya (Force India) 58
Franz Tost (Toro Rosso) 58

Stefano Domenicali (Ferrari) 48
Monisha Kaltenborn (Sauber) 42
Toto Wolff (Mercedes) 42
Eric Boullier (McLaren) 41
Christian Horner (Red Bull) 40
Cyril Abiteboul (Caterham) 36

Do you think age should be any barrier to making an F1 debut as a team boss? Let us know your thoughts.

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107 Comments
  1. Davy Coolen says:

    Age is not a criterium for being a good team boss – in F1 or elsewhere.

    1. If this appointment does prove out, and given the recent history of Genni’s ability to provide agreed upon compensation, one would assume a wise approach to be the total contracted salary amount is deposited in an escrow account at inception along with instructions to the escrow bank that only he is authorized to draw it down. The agreement would, of course, include confirmation that the entire amount of compensation is secured no matter what the outcome of tenure.

    2. Alan from Toronto says:

      The word should be “criterion” in singular form.

      1. Davy Coolen says:

        Thank you for correcting me! (Sorry, I’m Belgian.)

    3. Richard says:

      100% agree.

      James, this is not a good poll – will you be asking if Claire Williams is the right sex next?

      On a more appropriate topic, he appears to be a very good candidate. I think any boss whose team has just won several championships in a row should be considered an exceptional leader, and he is clearly qualified for a top level sports team role. F1 is quite particular though, so any struggles I believe would highlight how F1 really is the highest challenge for any team, operation, company, manufacturer…

      1. James Allen says:

        It’s only a poll because his age is a question mark for those making a decision

        I’m not saying I think he’s too old!!

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        James is asking a reasonable question, because most of his rivals are significantly younger and most have worked in F1 in some sort of capacity for many, many years meaning they are street wise and savvy in their operational duties. The question is, is this potential TP for Lotus suitable because not only of his age, but also lack of F1 experience? To survive in F1 you have to be cast in the same mould as the likes of Christian, Claire, Eric, Eric et al.

    4. radohc says:

      yes, ask Bernie ;)

      1. Daniel says:

        Good point :)

  2. Daniel Shires says:

    Could Kolles be sniffing around in case Enstone’s reported problems continue, for the benefit of his own F1 team aspirations James?

  3. Chromatic says:

    James, does this mean that McLaren have won the tussle with Lotus over Sony sponsorship?
    I read somewhere that ‘Whitmarsh to Lotus’ was conditional on them getting the Sony deal

    1. James Allen says:

      I read that somewhere too, but not sure of the truth of it.

      1. luqa says:

        Sony is just reported an annual LOSS of $1.1 billion for YE March 31st) 2013/14. That is unsustainable. Back in August 2013 they had still bragged about a substantial profit and at which time sponsorship talks might have been initialed.

        But now, I just can’t see them throwing approx. $50 million at any F1 team.

    2. deancassady says:

      If dependent on a SONY deal?
      A SONY deal is only marginally more likely than a Quantum deal; SONY is not doing too well, of late. They most certainly do NOT have buckets of cash to go sloshing around with on a Formula One team. But check it out for yourself.

      1. rad_g says:

        Sony is closing down their offices in Zavanten, Belgium. Why would they pump money into an artificial sport if they have to fire people?

  4. Richard says:

    Well age matters or mental agility matters and it’s a fact that as we grow older we become less mentally agile. That said it rather depends on the individual so I could not rule him out in the short term, however a younger man in my view would be preferable if a suitable candidate could be found.

    1. Peter says:

      I agree but don’t forget that he’s only as old as Bernie was 19 years ago

      1. Dave P says:

        ..and Bernie should have left then…

      2. Paul D says:

        I think he still did a good job during the 90′s and early 2000′s.

        It’s only of late some of his decisions have been seriously questionable and he’s decided to rip the heart out of the sport by cashing in on all these government deals for souless Tilkedromes and set up pay per view TV deals.

    2. Femi Akins says:

      You mean the way Mr E runs rings around the teams right now?

      Mr E could manage a team right now no problem at all

      1. Richard says:

        If Ecclestone ran a team now, they would be at the back of the grid. He is not an engineer or designer, furthermore he lacks the mental agility of a younger person. The position he is in now does not require complex decision making on the hoof so he would be hopeless at that. He is in a position that allows him to mull things over before coming to a decision. After all he cannot even decide if he’s going in or out apparently.

  5. AuraF1 says:

    Erm if he was 25 years older than everyone else – sure but he’s only a few years older than half the other TP’s and he’s had a fair amount of experience in the racing world – more than some of the others have had as team bosses. Bit of a strange point really. If he was a total novice in motor sports at 64 then yes – but really?

    There doesn’t appear to be a ‘team boss’ age peak – so I’m not sure why this is an issue. Other than that he’s likely to retire somewhat earlier than say Christian Horner.

    1. Dave P says:

      Nobody seems to have read what (or quoted James) what Olivier said himself. It was he that brought his age into it, stating that all his friends had said he would be mad to start such a thing at his age… which he minself ponders…

      I tend to agree, having had a successful career in motorsport… Lotus with lack of cash is not a stress free place to be…

  6. Matt W says:

    Er no I don’t think so. Is F1 anymore stressful than being a premier league manager, I doubt it!

    Age at a team management level is not a factor. Look at politics, many politicians run at the top well into their 60s and 70s.

    We need to get over this obsession with age.

    1. CarlH says:

      ‘Many politicians run at the top well into their 60s and 70s’

      I suspect they spend rather a lot more of their time reclining in a comfy chair with a cigar though….

    2. NickH says:

      I agree. You see old managers in top European football and the premier league where is the pressure is arguably much higher than F1.

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Cannot really compare F1 with English Premier League, in my opinion, they are not like for like. Premier League is a domestic competition (albeit with strong customer base in Far East and South America) where as F1 is a world championship that is represented on every inhabited continent…….apart from Africa of course. Association football has never taken off in North America, Australasia and South Asia to a certain extent, where as motor sport has a big following in those continents/sub-continents. The Premier League doesn’t even represent every corner of England: as far as I’m aware there are no teams (at time of writing) from the Heart of Yorkshire area, the Thames Valley/Cotswolds area, the West Country or East Midlands. Mind you, the Cotswolds/Thames Valley area and the East Midlands do have a certain multi billion pound very successful Formula 1 industry to boast about……………

      2. Martin says:

        Not really the strongest argument I could think of…

        For top football teams the manager’s role is played up in terms of how the team performs, hiring players and then picking the line up. In terms of fans calling for managers to be sacked, that is quite common. In F1 there are many people to spread the blame between and only really Martin Whitmarsh has had his place challenged recently. Domenicalli would be the other one watched, but in terms of fans Ferrari is closer to a football team.

        In terms of pressure, the volume of media speculation is the main thing that is being considered. In F1 the team principle role tends to be much broader. Sponsor relations are more significant as a much larger percentage of the operating budget comes from sponsorship compared to TV rights. For Domenicalli and Wolff and Horner, they represent the public face multinational companies that are much larger than any football team and the financial consequences of a loss of face are very different.

      3. Matt W says:

        I don’t think global representation of the brand really comes into it. The premier league may be a domestic competition but it is very much financial competition to F1.

        As an aside, the big club football teams do have a net worth in the ballpark of an F1 team.

      4. Gaz Boy says:

        Thanks for the comments Martin. At the end of the day, all F1 team principals are interested in is winning and humiliating their opposition, but then that’s the nature of the job I suppose: to survive in the shark pool you have to be a shark yourself.
        You are right Martin, TPs such as Christian and Stefano have a huge collective responsibility and sometimes I wonder why they don’t buckle under the pressure, but some individuals thrive on that, otherwise they wouldn’t do the job.
        I guess F1 is a fair reflection of western society really.

      5. NickH says:

        You have missed the point totally. Both are high pressure environments in terms of top sporting management positions. That is what this blog is talking about, age versus ability to manage in a top/high pressure job.

        However you are also a little bit misguided in some of your points about EPL/football.

        “(albeit with strong customer base in Far East and South America)”

        The EPL’s popularity stretches to much further parts of the globe than the F1 circus. Literally everywhere, trust me. Chelsea played a pre-season friendly in Australia and they sold out a 100,000 seater stadium. For a friendly.

        Since when was F1 more popular in South Asia than football!?? Football is India’s 2nd most popular sport after cricket and they are fanatical about the EPL, hence a massive TV deal to show the games. Africa is on a different planet altogether when it comes to the EPL.

        I don’t think you quite understand the financial power of the EPL. It is estimated the EPL revenue will total around £5 billion for 2013-2014. Just one league. Last year F1 revenue was $1.6 billion (dollars), so the ‘domestic league that doesn’t even stretch to all corners of the counrty’ dwarfs the ‘multi billion pound successful F1 industry’.

      6. Gaz Boy says:

        RE Nick H: I’m not disagreeing with you as such, just saying that comparing Formula 1 with Premiership football is a bit of a non starter.
        Football is a great game, and it’s a game for every-man, hence its popularity, as you rightly point out in the Afro-Asiatic world, as well as the Far East and South America as I mentioned.
        Formula 1 is certainly not an “every-mans” sport. It reflects a strain of western society that is decadent, hedonistic, expensive and ultimately elitist. It’s survival of the fittest, both literally and financially. In many ways, modern day F1 is the apogee of Thatcherism/Reaganism neo-liberal free market capitalism, particularly with the income distribution! (Incidentally, Frank has a painting of Maggie on his office wall). I’m just pointing out that Formula 1 has a different customer base to football, not saying its right or wrong, just different. Football represents everyman; Formula 1 represents an elite that we dream of.

      7. NickH says:

        Fair enough Gaz, good points. I understand where you’re coming from. How funny Frank has a picture of Maggie on his wall

      8. Gaz Boy says:

        Re NickH: A couple of years ago Nick I saw an interview with Frank, and there was a main photo of Frank in his office with an oil painting – an oil painting! – of Maggie clearly visible above his desk. Remember, Frank’s cars have always raced in blue for as long as I can remember………….incidentally, after the furore of the £1 million donation to Blair and Brown, I think it’s fair to say Mr E is hardly fond of the Labour party!!!!!

  7. Peter says:

    Errr, how old’s Bernie Ecclestone? I dare you to ask him this question James – he’d kick your ar*e!

    Also I thought the post of Team Principal was outdated and Mercedes don’t have one (according to the team itself)?

    1. JTW says:

      Agreed. If Quesnel is too old, what does that Bernie? Prehistoric? Hmm, come to think of it ….

      1. Cedgy says:

        Yes but Bernie didn’t start in F1 at the age of 64 he’s been there looooong before then.

    2. Richard says:

      Bernie is not running a race team that needs to be capable of thinking on its feet. He’s an old fart that should have been pension off some time ago. – Not that he’s in need of a pension. – And I suppose would be difficult to remove except by CVC. He’s done many good things for F1, but it’s all about coverage and viewing figures which is not necessarily good for the sport itself. Bernie and the FIA have turned the sport into an artifice which lacks realism, and if they want to reduce costs as well as improving the sport they need wholesale simplification.

    3. Martin says:

      Given Bernie’s height and James’, the likelihood of this literally being possible at Bernie’s age…

      1. Peter says:

        You’ve not thought this through have you? Bernie will have a flunkie with a step ladder on hand……

      2. Martin says:

        A bit harsh on James to suggest he couldn’t run away from someone with a step ladder.

        I don’t hang out in the paddock club, but my impression is that Bernie keeps his flunkies in the back rooms.

      3. Peter says:

        And I get the impression that if Bernie tells you to stand still, you stand still! No reflection on James’ running ability at all.

        (Did you never see Jake Humphrey’s ill advised attempt at asking Bernie a ‘pithy’ question regarding Martin Sorrell?!)

  8. TJ says:

    There’s a couple of names within the article that I’d not consider for the tea-boy/girl position Horner being one of them.

    While Boullier surprised and impressed me at Lotus, Quesnel would quickly get up to speed and at 64 (new 42 apparently) will be quite capable of wiping the floor with some of his younger contemporaries…

    But it’s all about the man/woman, not the age.

    1. Max Smoot says:

      Must agree here — Quesnel appears to be quite robust and in full command. He provided a car/team for S. Loeb allowing him to absolutely dominate the WRC. His command of English should not be a hindrance as continued exposure would increase his comfort level. Primarily though he is a proven winner, able to marshall resources and personnel. There must be some within the French motor racing establishment who would think again about dismissing Lotus if they thought that this man was to assume the helm. It might spell the end to all the defections and re-encourage investors.

    2. Scott D says:

      And you obviously have the wealth of experience and inside knowledge to dismiss the achievements of the Team Principle of the most successful team in the past four seasons. Ok…

      1. Scott D says:

        “Team Principal” of course…

  9. Ben says:

    Colin Kolles would really be a disaster for Lotus…

      1. Ben says:

        What had Collin Kolles done in any other series, let alone F1?

      2. Richard says:

        he ran HRT on a budget of 50p and didn’t finish last. he can sort out a driver with toothache too.

  10. Spyros says:

    Is it me or is it a bit odd that many candidates for jobs at Lotus, be they Drivers, managers or even investors, are being discussed regularly when nothing is firm, whereas other teams are tight-lipped until the deal is more or less done?

    Just thinking out loud…

    1. Random 79 says:

      “Just thinking out loud…”

      As are Lotus ;)

      1. Spyros says:

        I see what you did there..! :D

  11. Gaz Boy says:

    There may be a slight error here: I know Frank is in overall charge of his team, but during race weekends his daughter Claire, who I think is about 36/37 is effectively team principal. Claire, like Christian, Stefano and Eric also does a lot of interviews with the likes of Beeb as well.
    If this chap has issues with English, that will be a problem. It’s not just being able to speak English, but more importantly to THINK in english as well. A lot can – and probably will – get lost in translation, with potentially disastrous results. Don’t forget drivers such as Sebastian, Fernando and Kimi think in English as it has been their primary F1 language since they were in their late teens.
    As for the age thing………..well, good luck to him, but has anyone noticed that the teams at the top have got team principals all in the ballpark of early middle age (early 40s onwards) ie Christian , Stefano, Totto with Paddy and Eric. Coincidence? Apart from Eric they also started in their mid 20s in F1 as well, so I would say it’s not necessarily about age, but your experience and streetwise nous in F1. We shall see.

  12. Gaz Boy says:

    Sorry, slight error: I don’t think Totto started in F1 in his mid 20s, but he has F1 experience and nous with Frank, so does have a few years F1 wisdom to fall back on.

  13. Veena says:

    I dont think age will be a constraint for the job. Experience does matters, which he has a lot in motor sports.

  14. Andrew M says:

    I don’t think it’s too old, it’s not as if he’s new to motorsport entirely. He may not be a success, but age wouldn’t be the limiting factor.

  15. Grant H says:

    Ross brawn is not much younger and im sure he could have gone on for another 10 years,

    Only negative point will be it does not give lotus a long term view as one would expect the guy will want to retire at some point

  16. Truth or Lies says:

    Age should never be a barrier, capability and experience are what really count.

    I’d be more concerned over Mr. Quesnels reported issues with English. But that too can be overcome, especially as English is everywhere in F1 and he’d pick it up quickly enough.

    Best of luck if he goes for it and he should, I mean who wouldn’t want a shot at F1?

    Gift horses and mouths come to mind !!

  17. Pranav says:

    Good Lord, is Kolles trying to set a record for the maximum number of team principal positions? Jordan, Midland F1, Spyker, Force India and HRT. And except for Force India (where the owner was smart enough), none of the teams are in existence. Kolles in a team garage probably means the team will end up bankrupt very soon.

  18. Tom Westmacott says:

    Since Lotus jobs appear to be on a strictly unpaid basis nowadays, someone with a pension to draw on might appear well-suited to the role.

    1. CarlH says:

      Somebody rush Lotus to the burn unit!

    2. Delgado says:

      +1 It’s the team that’s getting long in the tooth

  19. oiio says:

    Well there’s still no sign of Bernie retiring!

  20. deancassady says:

    Age, not a factor per se.
    Experience in the Piranha Club, is much more relevant.
    Many of us, I think, suspect that life at Lotus was not easy for Eric, having to balance on the dissolving financial foundation.
    Tempered by fire.
    This kind of experience is rare.
    And the incumbent might have to do it for free, at the end of the year.
    Good luck Lotus.

  21. CarlH says:

    The real news from this article….

    Toto Wolff is older than Eric Boullier & Cyril Abiteboul!?!

    How is that possible?

    1. Random 79 says:

      “How is that possible?”

      I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that was rhetorical, otherwise your parents have a lot of explaining to do ;)

      1. CarlH says:

        I was raised by Bernie Ecclestone – everytime I asked about it I could never get a straight answxer. :)

    2. Basil says:

      I was surprised as well. Speaks well about Toto’s lifestyle.

  22. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

    He’s only 64 for crying out loud. Experience counts for more here. I bet there wouldn’t be an article about Brawn or Todt being too old!

    Plus, it seems about 83 ish is when you maybe start having silly ideas ;)

    1. Random 79 says:

      +1

      100 (or even 50) years ago 64 would have been considered geriatric, but people generally live longer now.

      He’s still a young fella :)

  23. Manuel says:

    well, he’s also bold, like horner.

    he’s also a man, like most of them.

    he’s french, like some.

    all of them factors, like age, that shouldn’t be considered when assessing anybody for a job.

    Unless, of course, you want to be unfairly discriminating.

    James, even asking the question is wrong, inmoral, irrelevant and, probably, unlawfull.

    1. Random 79 says:

      “All of them factors, like age, that shouldn’t be considered when assessing anybody for a job”

      True, in an ideal world everyone would be treated equally and chosen on merit, but unfortunately in the real world it happens all the time whether the employers acknowledge it or not.

      Maybe it was an unfair question to ask, but to James’ credit at least it was asked bluntly and honestly.

    2. Gaz Boy says:

      Sorry mate, have to disagree with your comments, James was asking perfectly reasonable and sensible questions. If I was working for Lotus, I would want to know if my new boss could speak AND think fluently in English, also does he have relevant F1 experience so that he can make good judgements. James was asking about his age because most of Lotus rival teams TPs are a lot younger and are therefore not thinking imminently about retirement and taking it easier in later life, as most people of his age would reasonably do. That’s not being ageist [sic], that’s just being down to earth and having common sense.
      At the end of the day, good luck to him, but TPs such as Christian, Stefano, Paddy and Totto, Eric and Claire are very street wise, savvy operators and what you need is somebody cast from the same mold as them to beat them.
      James if you’re reading, would love to hear what the likes of Our Nige, Mika and DC think about these new cars. Perhaps DC could do a test for the Beeb? Come on David, you know you want to!!!

  24. Gabe says:

    Of course he’s not too old. He’s had a career of high achievement and the other F1 principals listed: Boullier, Domenicalli, Wolff, etc. haven’t won anything yet.

  25. Ace says:

    Well when Ron Dennis took a step back from Mclaren in 2009, he was 61. Now he’s back at 66 years old even though not on the front line. I don’t think it’s a factor.

    But then the counter argument is the effect on decision making as demonstrated by the differences between Norbert Haug (61 when removed) and Toto Wolff (42)

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      I think Ronspeak had to step down in 2009 after “lying-gate” at Melbourne and political pressure from his nemesis Max Mosley. Had Macca told the truth to the Melbourne stewards, it is possible Ronspeak would of continued in charge for some time. Interestingly, after Ronspeak departed from front line F1, Lewis never consistently scaled the dizzying heights of 2007/2008. Just saying…………..

      1. Ace says:

        Yeah I have similar and contrary theories but that’s a discussion for another day lol

  26. Bart says:

    I think it’s more a question of flexibility than of age

  27. Mike from Colombia says:

    Will never consider Wolff as the boss.

    He has achieved nothing in motorsport and has merely been hanging onto the coat tails of others.

  28. Valentino from montreal says:

    Why is team called Lotus when their engine is a Renault , and the car is assembled in Benetton’s and F1 Renault’s previous factory ?

    1. +1 to the 10th power !

      They never earned the name or the legacy, Rather, they “bought” the “branding” and even that wasn’t a clear situation that required barristers, courts and ultimately, capitulation from the contesting party.

    2. Random 79 says:

      Because it has Lotus written on the side. ;)

      Next question?

    3. Gaz Boy says:

      I think it’s because “Team Enstone” signed a sponsorship deal with Lotus Cars plc (Hethel, Norfolk) and part of that sponsorship deal was that “Team Enstone” would be renamed Lotus and painted in the classic black and gold of the JPS cars of the 70s and 80s. Renault ceased to be a “works” team back in 2009/2010 if I remember correctly. I maybe wrong, but I think that’s the gist of it.

    4. greg says:

      Because the owners bought the team to sell and at the same time lotus was being funded by the proton brand and they was broke. Long story short, there was some hope the lotus cars co. Would be sold off cheap for Genii to buy and package it all. There was a sponsor deal that was worked to those ends, but got stopped by protons funders ie the government.
      The lotus name is just that, a brand and its better to have a known name than one no one knows. I think that’s why?

    5. Ace says:

      Renault wanted to step back from the frontlines after crashgate I think

    6. Dave Emberton says:

      What would you like them to be called? Obviously they can’t use the name “Renault”, or for that matter “Benetton”. Perhaps they should go back to Toleman?

  29. Richard Piers says:

    There is certainly one old f*** who should have been put out to grass some years ago but Quesnel has many years to give yet and his experience would be very attractive to a sponsor.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Mr. Burns?

  30. Peter says:

    I’ll tell you what. I’m only 63 so I’ll take the job and then the discussion is over!

    More seriously. 64 and with loads of experience or some lad of, say, 45 with none. Which is the better bet?

    And I happen to think that Claire Williams is precisely the right sex, but way too young for me!

    1. Paul Dalgarno says:

      Someone of 45 with no experience? Oh come on – if you’ve got 20+ years working experience I’d have hope you’d learned quite a lot.

      Completely depends on the person’s willingness to learn from experience and to continually look to learn. Yes, age is a factor in experience, but 20+ years is plenty enough, and the law of diminishing returns surely applies.

      Oh, and this guy at 64? If he’s the best man for the job then his age is not an issue.

      1. Peter says:

        OK, maybe I set the bar a bit high at 45. But I was trying to make a point. The point being that 64 is not too old to take on this sport of position as long as you have the experience to cope.

        And, whatever you say, even at 45 you are unlikely to have had that much experience of working in motorsport at a high level. Certainly not 20 years because you will have spent most of your time working up to the high level positions.

  31. greg says:

    How about Paul Stoddard? Not sure how old he is, but must be younger. He wanted to come back into F1 not so long ago. I know minardi wasn’t the most successful team, but did ok and he always had passion for the sport. I think he would fit in well at lotus, I do miss the minardi underdog cars on track and I think his approach could only bolster the team.

      1. Peter says:

        I would love to see him back. He was like a breath of fresh Aussie air!

        Doubt if it will happen though.

  32. Kimi4WDC says:

    I think we past the point in our social evolution where we think that age somehow restricts ones intellect. You either competent or not. Lucky for Quesnel, F1 is full of incompetent people, or should I say Lotus? :)

  33. Howard P says:

    Wow, is this for real.

    If whoever is best placed to do the job well, then age shouldn’t be a factor.

  34. Kay says:

    If he can take Lotus to winning ways I don’t think anyone would care about his age.

  35. Andy in Norwich says:

    He’s had a great career in Motorsport and is 64. He probably doesn’t need the money. You never know, maybe a deal’s been made whereby he buys/gets given a shareholding in the team. That way he’ll work for nothing, which is good for Genii given their current state.

  36. Richard says:

    Bernie is still running at 82 or so, however that isn’t a good thing. So 64 might be just a bit too old. How old is Ron Dennis by the way? Even if he doesn’t take the Team Principle title he would still be in charge. And he’s around the same age.

  37. Robert says:

    There are OLD 64 year-olds, and there are young 64 year-olds – in both body and mind. Looking at his picture, he looks in fighting trim and looks like he takes care of himself. If his medical exams don’t indicate any real troubles that massive travel would exacerbate, then certainly his CV looks damned impressive in motorsports. And he is French, which is very important to the sponsors.

    Frankly, he seems a very good, if short term, fit. Given the state of the team, perhaps a short-term fit is all they need, while Genii contemplates it’s exit strategy over the next season or two.

  38. justafan says:

    Age is not a problem, me thinks, however language shortcomings could cause big troubles.

  39. Scott D says:

    “Another is his command of English, the language of Formula 1 communication in press conferences and all stakeholder meetings with FIA and FOM.”

    I dont mean to be picky but the article does not make it clear why this is a problem. I presume that he does not have an excellent command of English but a bit more info would be appreciated.

  40. aveli says:

    gerard lopez is the only person on earth who has a say on who he employs for the job. if he wants to employ olivier quesnel, he should nor matter what anyone thinks about his comand of english or his age. does ecclestone not do a good job in his eighties running the whole of f1 let alone running a single team?

  41. Paul D says:

    I don’t think the job is particularly appealing for anyone right now.

    Funding issues, average driver line up, losing loads of key staff, seemingly iffy Renault power plant.

  42. Rich C says:

    Well pardon me for saying so, but I’m way beyond these “children’s” ages and I’ll be quite happy to kick the ass of the next guy that suggests a mere 60+ is too old for anything!!

  43. sunny stivala says:

    According to Autosprint Oliver Quensnel is Lotus new principal, he will start work next week.

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