The Renault rumour mill has fired up again with reports suggesting an announcement on their 2021 driver line-up could be made as early as Wednesday.
A vacant seat alongside Esteban Ocon became available after Daniel Ricciardo opted to replace the Ferrari-bound Carlos Sainz ahead of the 2021 season.
The likes of Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso have all been linked with the seat and, according to Spanish broadcaster and journalist, Noemi de Miguel, an official announcement is close.
‘As I have been informed, Renault is planning to make an official announcement on Wednesday,’ she said on Twitter.
She continued: ‘After the race, Cyril Abiteboul has told veteran mechanics (those who have been around for more than 15 years) that they have already worked with him.’
No prizes for guessing who that is…
YA ES LUNES !
Según me han informado, el miércoles #Renault tiene previsto hacer un anuncio oficial.
Tras la carrera, Cyril Abiteboul les ha dicho a los mecánicos más veteranos (aquellos que llevan más de 15 años), que ya han trabajado con él.
— Noemí de Miguel (@Noemidemiguel) July 5, 2020
Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul has previously stated back in May that Alonso was an option.
Speaking on RMC Par ici la sortie, when asked if Alonso was an option for 2021, Abiteboul said: “It could be a lot of drivers. There are some nice drivers who will be available next year. The one you mentioned is an option.
“The only thing I can say for sure is that we’re going to take the time to think about it. It’s an extremely important decision.
“We didn’t want to get into the kind of activism that there has been from Ferrari and McLaren, for reasons that are theirs.”
Ahead of the season opener in Austria, Alonso laughed off rumours he was set to replace Ricciardo as early as this year following more reports by the Spanish media.
“Man, at noon they said a team had said no to Alonso,” Alonso tweeted. “At night I will race in in that same team in 2020.
“I will tell you and inform you that I am going to run the Indy 500.
“I think you have to consider who laughs at you but I will be here when I have something to report.”
Esteban Ocon, meanwhile, has said he would welcome Alonso as his new team-mate in what would be a third spell for the Spaniard at the Enstone team. A team he has won two World Championships with in 2005 and 2006.
Asked by Motorsport.com whether or not he had a say in his 2021 team-mate, Ocon said: “My personal choice has no relation to what the team is going to do.
“I have a great relationship with Fernando. The helmet I have and the only swap I did in between the drivers was with him.
“He was the one with Michael [Schumacher], his fights back in the day, that gave me the love for the sport.
“I don’t know if he’s going to join or not with us, but definitely if he could come back, I would be very happy.”