Renault Sport F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul says the French outfit is hoping to promote a young talent from its driver academy to F1 in 2021.
Next year, Renault will rely on Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon to lead the charge, but the Enstone team is putting its full support behind its squad of young chargers as it shifts its internal “dynamic”.
“I think it is was important when given the opportunity to seize the opportunity of an accomplished driver in Daniel last year,” explained Abiteboul, referring to Renault’s initial snub of Ocon in 2018.
“Once we had that at Renault, and right now, we think it’s the right moment for some fresher blood to be honest and I think it’s a trend you can see in the whole team.
“We’re investing in young drivers in our Academy and we hope and expect to have possibly one driver from that Academy [in Formula 1] in 2021.
Ocon vows to bring ‘a new perspective’ to Renault
“So it’s also a dynamic, a shift in dynamic, to be ready and welcoming young drivers in our line-up.
“It’s not something I would have been capable of doing two years ago but with more maturity in the team we can now envisage that.
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“And that will be good test to see if we’re capable of also managing that as it’s a different kind of managing. Managing someone in his 20s, or 22, to [someone] in his 30s, that’s different.”
A look at Renault’s junior roster in F2 puts Campos’ Jack Aitken and Virtuosi Racing’s Guanyu Zhou at the top of the pack, a spot where the very talented Anthoine Hubert, who was tragically killed at Spa earlier this month, also deserved to be.
Regardless of who gets promoted – if at all – in the future, Abiteboul is expecting new recruit Esteban Ocon to help the French outfit join the current three-way battle at the front from 2021 when revamped regulations usher in a new era for F1.
“We are in a world that is expecting short-term delivery of results and performance, but these teams are extremely well established, well-funded and extremely well organised, it is very difficult to make your way into the top three,” added Abiteboul.
“But that’s obviously what we are striving to do and I do believe Esteban can help us with that.
“We will continue to balance what we do for 2020 and 2021, there is such a change for 2021 that we have to think carefully about how we split our resources.
“Esteban is aware of that, it’s no different to lots of teams anywhere but it will give us the opportunity to learn, to properly work together in 2020, so we can be in full attack mode in 2021.”
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