Vasseur: Young drivers are Renault’s investment

Frederic Vasseur says Renault deliberately chose young drivers for this year's campaign as they are looking to build the stars of the future.

This year's championship, Renault's first back as a works team, saw Renault opt for a rather inexperienced line-up in Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen.

The Dane is the most experienced of the two having spent one season racing for McLaren before he was dropped down to a test driver role in 2015.

Racing director Vasseur says choosing young drivers was all part of Renault's bigger picture.

“When the drivers were chosen the focus was already on 2018 and 2019,” he told Formula1.com.

“That goes for the car side as well as for the driver side. We had to find the champion of 2019 – and not one from 2010.

“If you look at the past, all the success stories were always based on drivers: Renault and Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher and Ferrari, Red Bull Racing and Sebastian Vettel.

“So we will build up the team on drivers. This is an investment, just as is the wind tunnel or the engine.”

And although there have been some rumours that Palmer is under pressure to perform, Vasseur believes in Magnussen and Palmer he has two stars for the future.

“I see a couple of youngsters who could do it. [Max] Verstappen is probably one of them; Esteban Ocon has beaten him in F3; Kevin did a very good job in [Formula Renault] 3.5, where he was in front of [Stoffel] Vandoorne; Jolyon won the GP2 title in front of Vandoorne – and I keep Stoffel in very high regards.”

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