Renault is open-minded about the composition of the driver lineup for its new works team beyond 2016, according to boss Frederic Vasseur. Having inherited Jolyon Palmer's contract from Lotus and then signing up Kevin Magnussen at the eleventh hour, speculation about the next Renault lineup has swirled in the F1 paddock so far this year.
But Renault has also backed Palmer and particularly Dane Magnussen, even though youngsters Sergey Sirotkin, Esteban Ocon and Nicholas Latifi are all being given chances to shine on Friday mornings. The French marque's former double world champion Fernando Alonso has been linked with Renault again, but Vasseur played down the likelihood of a 'big name' signing.
"The idea is that at some point my boss will ask me to deliver," he smiled to Denmark's Ekstra Bladet newspaper. "And he does not care what the drivers' names are. If you put a big name in the car, it works for you for a week but in the end it's all about results. So you either put the best in your car or someone who could improve to become the best," Vasseur added.
"If you look at it, we are only putting young drivers in the car. For us the most important thing is to find the world champion of 2020 or 2021, not 2006. I can't remember who won in 2005 or 2006. Or 2007," Vasseur laughed, referring not only to Alonso but also Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.
So he suggested that Renault's involvement in the 2017 'silly season' will be a low-profile one. "First, we must be able to give our drivers a proper car," said Vasseur. (GMM)