Kevin Magnussen is ready to lead Renault's return to Formula 1, despite his own year on the sidelines, managing director Cyril Abiteboul believes.
The Dane received an F1 lifeline earlier this year when he replaced Pastor Maldonado in Renault's line-up, having parted company with McLaren at the end of the 2015 season.
While he was on McLaren's books last year and stood in for an injured Fernando Alonso at the Australian Grand Prix, it was a step down for Magnussen after just one season on the grid.
Magnussen's new team-mate Jolyon Palmer spent more time in F1 machinery last year through his third-driver role with Lotus, but Abiteboul sees Magnussen as the man to lead the way.
"I think we have a fantastic driver line-up," he said.
"They bring the energy of young people who want to make a point.
"Both drivers want to prove a lot, but they deserve to be in F1 and will gain in experience as we gain in experience.
"They have shown they are winners in their respective careers; Jolyon has won GP2 and Kevin Formula Renault 3.5.
"Kevin is a natural talent and has sufficient experience to be a leader for the technical team and Jolyon will benefit from having a strong team-mate."
POINTS TO PROVE
Magnussen finished on the podium in his grand prix debut in Australia in 2014, but ultimately lost his McLaren race seat to Alonso at the end of the campaign.
Having admitted that his F1 career was in jeopardy before the Renault drive went his way, Magnussen is keen to make a statement.
"Hopefully I'll prove many points," he said.
"I'm extremely motivated after a whole year away.
"I've been sitting on the sidelines during the races for so many weekends and I'm hungry to come back and prove my worth.
"I've raced my whole life and I'm extremely hungry and keen to get in a race car again and even more so with Renault Sport."