Renault consider young driver programme

With Renault on the verge of returning to F1 as a works team, Cyril Abiteboul has confirmed they could implement a young driver programme.

In recent years Red Bull's young driver programme has been very successful as demonstrated by the result of the Hungarian GP.

All four of the top drivers; Sebastian Vettel, Daniil Kvyat, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen; came through the young driver ranks.

Renault are now considering a similar move with managing director Abiteboul revealing it would help to keep down salary costs.

"You only need to see the driver wages for a team like Mercedes versus the driver costs for a team like Red Bull or Toro Rosso," he told Motorsport.com.

"I think that Red Bull/Toro Rosso wages are just a fraction of those of Mercedes and that is fantastic.

"So that tells us a lesson about what we should do and how we can improve what we are doing.

"What we know is that we want to be in this category, which is single-seaters, if possible, with F1 at the top.

"But we need to do that in a much more cost efficient manner which serves the business and the marketing story much better than what we are doing now."

Abiteboul added that it would also help with marketing if Renault were known for being the starting point in the careers of successful drivers.

"What is for sure, if we have to be in F1, is I am a big fan of driver programmes. We had that in the past, but maybe it was a bit too ambitious because we had a lot of drivers.

"We got more return being identified as the one who identified [Fernando] Alonso, than the first one who allowed Lewis Hamilton to get behind the wheel of a single-seater [in Formula Renault].

"If you were to question everyone in the paddock, even those who know very well Lewis' career, Fernando is definitely connected to Renault. Lewis has never been connected to Renault.

"So we need to build on that, and that is why I am a big believer in a young driver programme."

 

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