Abiteboul sets deadline for Renault driver line-up

Date published: September 8 2016

Renault’s managing director Cyril Abiteboul has told the team that he wants the drivers’ line-up confirmed by the end of September.

With both Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer out of contract at the end of the season, the Frenchman claimed that they have already began discussions regarding who will be in the race seats next year.

Since Renault’s takeover of Lotus, the French manufacturer has struggled to put out a competitive car out on the grid. However, with new regulations being introduced by the FIA, Abiteboul is confident that they will have a much a better season, with or without their two current drivers.

“Absolutely September is the month where this has to be clarified or at least start to take a very clear orientation,” Abiteboul told F1i.

“We have orientation, we’ve got preferences but we keep that for ourselves for the time being.

“But we’ve got a number of discussions going on, people are interested in the project, the project is a long-term project so I accept also that the drivers need to protect themselves in time.

“Hopefully they don’t look at what’s going on at the track but think about what Renault has always done when they joined motorsport, what Enstone as a team has always done also In Formula One, and also the time it takes to build a proper project.

“So I hope that the drivers we are talking to will factor that into their decision, but anyway we are very keen to get that sorted out as quickly as possible.

“As far as we’re concerned we were not necessarily the most exposed to those retirements, we are more interested in the young people than the people retiring. But obviously they are collateral impact so we will see, maybe by Singapore we’ll have a better clarity about what is going to happen.”