Renault wants young academy driver in F1 by 2020


Renault Sport is hoping to see one of its current members of its young driver academy racing in F1 by 2020.

The French manufacturer continues to build its F1 foundation with its works team as it aims to return to the winner's circle.

But the following stage includes the prospect of seeing one of its own young talents reaching the pinnacle of motorsport, with Renault F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul possibly relying on one of the manufacturer's customer teams to achieve that milestone.

"No plan is constructed for the time being, but if you look at the way you can access F1, being able to use another team in order to confirm the fact that a driver is capable, it’s very useful," says Abiteboul.

"We have this capacity in terms of what we are doing in terms of engine supply.

"Our plans for the next few years are very clear with Red Bull and McLaren but that’s something we are clearly taking into account as we are building and starting to think about the long-term strategy of our engine supply activity."

Abiteboul is simply take a leaf out of Mercedes and Ferrari's young driver programmes which have seen Pascal Wehrlein, Esteban Ocon and Charles Leclerc gain access to F1.

"We know that looking at Mercedes, looking at a number of teams in the past. That will also happen to us at some point in time. We cannot disconnect the two.

"Right now we have a legacy for when we were only an engine supplier in the relationship with Red Bull but as we build the next cycle of the strategy for engine supply activity we need to take that on board.

"That’s the target of the academy, to be able to bring one of those guys into Formula 1 by 2020," added Abiteboul.

This year's Renault academy members include once again Jack Aitken, Max Fewtrell, Christian Lundgaard and Sun Yue Yang, while Sacha Fenestraz, Arthur Rougier and Victor Martins are the newcomers to the driver development programme

"Each driver will enjoy an extensive programme where racing is just one element," announced Renault.

"Physical and mental training, media and marketing support, engineering and learning the core values of the proud history of Renault in motorsport constitute the programme away from the track, with many elements taught at Renault Sport Formula One Team’s Enstone base."

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