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Renault 'not saying no' to potential Vettel signing

  • Published on 17 Mar 2020 14:48
  • comments 6
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Renault is not ruling put the possibility of signing Sebastian Vettel should Daniel Ricciardo decide to leave the team at the end of the 2020 season.

Ricciardo's initial two-year deal with the Enstone squad comes to an end this year, as does the contract that Vettel is currently bound to at Ferrari.

Ricciardo has been linked to a move to the Scuderia outfit alongside Charles Leclerc, who signed a long-term contract extension at Ferrari during the winter.

Speaking to French broadcaster Canal+, Renault F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul affirmed that Vettel was not the team's priority going forward, but did not rule out a potential future deal.

"I don't want to say no, as he is a great driver, and a great champion," Abiteboul said when asked about the possibility of signing Vettel. "We worked together on the engine side and we won together.

"I rather aspire to work with tomorrow's drivers than yesterday's. It really is very difficult to sum it up like that, so please don't sum it up like that about Sebastian.”

Renault 'has to acknowledge' junior academy for 2021

Renault has previously outlined its goal of promoting one of its junior academy drivers to F1 in the coming years.

This year, junior members Christian Lundgaard and Guanyu Zhou will compete in the FIA Formula 2 championship, while Max Fewtrell and Oscar Piastri will race in the Formula 3 series.

Abiteboul insisted that the junior academy is still a large part of its plan, and that Renault “has to acknowledge it” ahead of the 2021 season. 

"Still, we also have a driver academy, with drivers who might come out of it in 2021 or 2022,” he said. “We need to keep this in mind, as we created this academy in 2016 with the goal of having a driver graduate to F1 in 2021.

"Now 2021 is coming, we have to acknowledge it. Typically, there's Christian Lundgaard. He's an option among others: he's got his F2 season to do, we've got our own season to do with Daniel."

Replies (6)

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  • Great for Ferrari to gain Ricciardo. If Vettel really goes to Renault, wonder how long he could run away from his problems. Instead, if its Ocon that is being displaced, Renault would be a real loser to part upwards of $65 mil/year on 2 employees.

    • + 0
    • Mar 17 2020 - 16:28
    • It's never going to happen. If anything Cyril seemed to be clear that he would rather work with "tomorrow's" drivers.

      That being said, at about a quarter of the price, Seb would be fantastic. But 30+ million? Only Ferrari are that insane on a driver that has been declining for the last 3 years.

      I'm all for keeping the very best drivers on the grid. The age issue is stupid. Seb is still very young, he could easily have another 6 years, which is more than most drivers will remain with a single team. That being said, the issue with age tends to also be salary.. If you cut that out of the equation, there is no reason to get rid of some solid "old" drivers.

      Look at Kimi, I thought he should have retired from Ferrari as he was absolutely mediocre. But as a midfield driver he does better than most. He also took a big pay cut, as he should have.

      • + 0
      • Mar 17 2020 - 20:43
    • Cyril Abiteboul might be shopping for a better drive than Vettel, as he might have a better bank balance than other prospective mid fielders. But, i can never take his words for granted at face value. He might jump the ship and dump Ocon, if he gets Vettel at a fair price. Ricciardo’s contract extension might be another factor that could play a major role in Seb’s future in F1.

      • + 0
      • Mar 18 2020 - 04:33
    • Dert38

      Posts: 279

      both faster than vet tho...

      • + 0
      • Mar 18 2020 - 15:34
  • "I rather aspire to work with tomorrow's drivers than yesterday's. It really is very difficult to sum it up like that, so please don't sum it up like that about Sebastian.” What a weird way to put it, kinda implying that he is "old news" only to then say "don't make me say it that way".

    • + 0
    • Mar 17 2020 - 21:13
  • I don't seriously see Vettel racing for anything other than a top team - and due to the difficulty in seeing when the 2020 season will start, already imv looking like July - it won't leave much time to gauge Renault's, performance for Vettel in any case so that move is looking doubtful. This is F1 however, strange things can and do always happen !

    • + 0
    • Mar 19 2020 - 16:33

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