Renault boss Vasseur sets Abu Dhabi deadline for team’s 2017 driver decision
Renault team head Frederic Vasseur says he will give the four drivers in the frame for a race seat with the team next season until this year’s Abu Dhabi GP to prove their worth.
Renault has already signed Nico Hulkenberg from Force India to lead its attack next term, leaving four drivers to fight it out for the second seat.
Renault’s current drivers Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer are both still in contention for it, as is Manor driver Esteban Ocon and Haas’s Esteban Gutierrez is also understood to be an outside bet for it.
“We postponed a decision mainly because all the guys now on the radar are rookies or quite young,” said Vasseur. “I’m getting more information, more and more data race after race. It’s my job to consider everything.
“But all the drivers are doing a good job, both my guys and others, and it’s quite tough to decide. I don’t want to say it’s uncomfortable for me [making the decision], but that’s life. It’s tough, but racing is tough. I have to deal with it. They have to deal with it.”
Vasseur did add that a heavily funded driver would have no preferential treatment in the decision. He said: “It’s mainly performance, to be sure they fit with the project, their involvement and commitment, their relationship with the team. You have to consider all of these points, but I don’t consider budget.”