OCTOBER 8, 2016
Renault to consider driver choice next week
Renault could finally be close to deciding its drivers for the 2017 season.
The French works team has had a difficult first year after taking over Lotus, with technical boss Bob Bell saying the Enstone factory had become run down.
"From the outside, I don't think people realise how run down the Enstone squad had become, so there's a lot to do," he said.
It has complicated the process of selecting drivers for 2017, with Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer at the wheel this year, Esteban Ocon in the frame for the future but the likes of Sergio Perez, Carlos Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg all also targeted.
Magnussen's 2017 contract 'option' ran out at the end of October, but the Dane then agreed to extend it until October 14.
"(Choosing) the drivers is a very important decision," team boss Frederic Vasseur told the Danish broadcaster TV3.
"It is important not only for performance, but the drivers are also a key condition for motivation and technical knowledge.
"It is a long-term commitment so we have to be absolutely sure," he added.
However, after the lengthy delays, Vasseur revealed that Renault is finally now closing on a decision.
"At some point we have to commit," he said. "We know the driver market, we know the situation in our team, so we need to sit down next week to make the decision."