2017 highlighting role of driver says Abiteboul

F1's new era better highlights the differences between drivers.

That is the view of Cyril Abiteboul, the Renault team boss who this week warned that Jolyon Palmer's struggle alongside Nico Hulkenberg this year is currently under review.

"The contrast between the drivers is striking," he told the French language news agency AFP.

"It highlights the important role played by the driver in a sport where technology is central," Abiteboul added.

"It is not just about the engine and the car -- much is determined by the driver. So first of all there is this competition between drivers and Nico reminds us of that."

So while Briton Palmer is struggling, Abiteboul says German Hulkenberg's current role is vital.

"Nico has an unusual role in the team," said the Frenchman. "He gives us the direction for development, and the priorities for changes to the car.

"We know what to do," Abiteboul explained, "but he helps us to highlight the key points and show what is more and less important."

(GMM)

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