Renault to replace Daniel Ricciardo in 2021?

14-09-2019 12:04
by Bevan Youl
General
Renault to replace Daniel Ricciardo in 2021?

Renault F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul has said that the French team would like to invest in drivers in their academy, hoping to potentially have one on the grid in 2021 to potentially replace Daniel Ricciardo.

Before the Belgian Grand Prix last month it was announced that Esteban Ocon would replace current Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg at the team in 2020, making their line-up for next year the Frenchman and Daniel Ricciardo.
 
Ricciardo’s contract with Renault does not go further than the end of 2020 and Abiteboul talked about the potential for the teams next driver to be promoted from within at Monza.
 
“We’re investing in young drivers in our academy and we hope and expect to have possibly one driver from that academy in 2021," he said.

“It’s a shift in dynamic, to be ready and welcoming young drivers in our line-up.

“It’s not something I would have been capable of doing two years ago but with more maturity in the team, we can now envisage that.

“[Having Ocon] will be a good test to see if we’re capable of also managing that as it’s a different kind of management, managing someone in his 20s, or 22, to in his 30s, that’s different.”
 
But Abiteboul does have faith that his pairing for 2020 can bring having acquired Ocon from Mercedes, where he had been in line for a seat next year until Valtteri Bottas was offered another year on his contract.
 
“It was the plan when we made the decisions, but we know also much more has to come for this to happen, racing top teams like Mercedes and others so we can fight for the win,” he added.

“It takes time, let’s be honest, it takes more time than a lot of people would want, than we want.

“I do believe Esteban can help us with that, we will continue to balance what we do for 2020 and 2021, there is such a change for 2021 that we have to think carefully about how we split our resources.

"Esteban’s aware of that, it’s no different to lots of teams anywhere but it will give us the opportunity to learn, to properly work together in 2020, so we can be in full attack mode in 2021.”

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