Re­nault boss Vasseur sets Abu Dhabi dead­line for team’s 2017 driver de­ci­sion

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

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.”

Mag­nussen and Palmer in frame

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