Cyril Abiteboul has confirmed that the Renault Sport F1 Team are not writing off the chances of their current drivers being involved in their 2017 driver line-up.
For 2016, the Enstone-based outfit signed Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer, but with their contracts both up at the end of the year, rumours are floating around regarding the line-up for the next season. Sergio Perez, Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Ocon have all been evaluated as a possible option.
Currently only Magnussen has scored points for Renault after finishing in seventh at the Russian Grand Prix, with Palmer yet to finish an Grand Prix in the top ten, but team boss Abiteboul believes both drivers are doing a good job considering the limitations of the RS16.
“Hopefully people realise that with our current line-up, we are not writing them off,” said Abiteboul to Motorsport.com. “We will have to see how the season is panning out, but they are doing a good job with the hardware they are given, frankly.
“Having a leader [for the future], we will need that – but when Red Bull made the choice of Vettel, he was not a world champion and Red Bull was not a world champion – they grew together. Years later, in hindsight, it is an obvious association, but actually in the early days it was not at all the situation.
“If there is a model I would say we are more towards that model of maybe finding the Vettel of tomorrow, growing together, maybe become champion together. Buying an existing world champion, I don’t think this is an absolute necessity in modern F1.”