Amidst reports that Jolyon Palmer’s Renault seat is on the line, Cyril Abiteboul says this year’s new generation of cars highlights the contrast between his two drivers.
While Hulkenberg has three top-ten results to his name this season, bringing his tally to 14 points, Palmer has yet to get off the mark.
The Brit, who scored just one point last season, has struggled with the new generation of cars while also seeming to have the bulk of Renault’s reliability issues.
“The contrast between the drivers is striking,” Abiteboul told AFP.
“It highlights the important role played by the driver in a sport where technology is central.
“It is not just about the engine and the car – much is determined by the driver.
“So first of all there is this competition between drivers and Nico (Hulkenberg) reminds us of that.”
The Renault F1 boss was full of praise for Hulkenberg’s contribution to the team, saying the former Force India driver is pushing the development of the RS17.
“Nico has an unusual role in the team,” Abiteboul added.
“He gives us the direction for development, and the priorities for changes to the car.
“We know what to do, but he helps us to highlight the key points and show what is more and less important.”