Renault need ‘more time’ for driver decision


Renault won’t rush into confirming their 2017 line-up, conceding that their current pairing need more time to prove themselves given the under performing RS16.

Kevin Magnussen is the only Renault driver to score this season, adding to his tally last time out in Singapore when he finished in tenth place.

Jolyon Palmer has yet to get off the mark with his best result a P11 in Australia.

Renault insist they will continue to give both drivers as much time as possible to book their seats for next season.

Managing director Cyril Abiteboul told Autosport: “We need to be fair with the drivers that we have.

“We know the hardware we are using is not the best, so when it comes to measuring their pace, their consistency in particular, it’s difficult.

“We are giving them all possible chance to be properly assessed, and although it’s obvious we will factor into the equation what we know from our hardware, it is difficult.”

He added: “We need to accept we need to take a bit more time.

“We have a number of options, good options, which shows people believe in the project of Renault.

“So we are just trying to make the best decision for the team, and in that respect we need a bit more information and intelligence than we have at the minute.

“If anything, the extra time we are taking in order to form a decision is not playing against our two current drivers.”

Sergio Perez, Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Ocon have all been linked to Renault in recent weeks.

Asked specifically about Ocon, who swapped his Renault test driver role for a Manor race-seat after the summer break,  Abiteboul said the driver is still in Renault’s sights.

He said: “Absolutely, and we are in a nice position as he is currently driving, so it’s extra information we receive.

“The big names under contract will remain under contract, so we know who is and isn’t available, so we have a little bit of time to make a decision because we want to be as well informed as possible.”